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It is not my purpose to present a theory of missions, 
but simply to give a clear and consecutive story of my 
father's life. I have been impelled to do this by the desire 
that his memory should be cherished in the minds of the 
rising generation. Dr. Wayland's noble and comprehensive 
Memoir is now out of print, and it has seemed to me that 
a career which may be justly said to form the main artery 
of all American foreign missionary endeavor, needed to be 
presented anew. In order to bring into bold relief my 
father's social, domestic, and personal traits, I have intro- 
duced large extracts from his letters and journals, which, 
however, in a few places, I have taken the liberty of con- 
densing. Free use has also been made of the valuable 
reminiscences contributed to Dr. Wayland's Memoir by 
Mrs. Emily C. Judson. 

E. J. 

New York, January, 1883. 




1 788-1 809. 

Birth — Precocity — Reverence for his father — Ambition over-stimu- 
lated — His sister, Abigail— Playing church — Removal to Wen- 
ham — His brother Elnathan — Death of a sister — Childhood rem- 
iniscences — "Does the sun move?" — Solving hard enigmas — 
Proficiency in arithmetic — " Old Virgil dug up " — Studying Reve- 
lation — Removal to Braintree 'and to Plymouth — College life — 
Teaching school — Publishing grammar and arithmetic — Conver- 
sion — Early impressions — Sceptical views — Journey — Startling 
incident at an inn — Entering the Theological Institute at An- 
dover — Self-dedication — Joining the Church — Consecration to 
the ministry — Fervent piety 



Buchanan's " Star in the East " — Association with kindred mission- 
ary spirits — Haystack monument— Obstacles — Attractions at 
home — Best men needed abroad — Anticipation of dangers and 
hardships-— Application to Dr. Bogue — The case laid before the 
General Association — Organization of the American Board of 
Commissioners for Foreign Missions — Failure to co-operate with 
the London Missionary Society — Journey to England — Captured 
bv a French privateer— Confined in the hold — In prison at Bay- 
onne — Paroled — Scene at a masked ball — Reception in England 
— Personal appearan-e — Return to America — Appointed by the 
Board — Meeting with Ann Hasseltine — Incident at the table — 
Sketch of Ann Hasseltine — Marriage — Parting with parents — The 
wayside prayer — Ordination — Parting with sister— Embarcation. 





The course — Change of views on Baptism — Arrival in Calcutta — 
Announces to the Board his change of views — Appeal to the 
Baptists — His baptism— Excluded from India by the East India 
Company — Journey to the Isle of France — Death of Harriet 
Newell — ^Journey to Madras — Voyage to Rangoon — Arrival — The 
eflfect in America of his change of views — Organization of a Bap- 
tist Missionary Society — Beneficial consequences of his becoming 
a Baptist — Missionary operations widened — Consolidation and 
growth of the Baptist denomination 36 



Face of the country — Animals — Inhabitants— Industrial life — Gov- 
ernment — Religion-7-History and distribution of Buddhism — 
Buddhism and Brahminism contrasted — Life of Buddha — Bud- 
dha's Way of salvation — Point of Departure, the Goal, and the 
Way — Buddha's moral code — Buddhism and Christianity. .... 56 




Rangoon a strategic point — First impressions of Rangoon — The 
Ta'ik before him — The evangelization of Burmah — The Means — 
Not civilization — Not schools for children — The Gospel conveyed 
to the adult mind — The printed Word — Oral preaching of the 
Gospel — The press can never supersede the pulpit — His method 
of preaching — The Difficulties — Burman conservatism — Learn- 
ing the language — Danger of persecution — Sublime faith — Re- 
moval into the city proper — Mrs. Judson's declining health, and 
voyage to Madras — Birth and death of Roger Williams Judson 
— Conversation between Mr. Judson and his Burman teacher — 
His illness — Compiling Burman Grammar — The first tract — ■ 
Arrival of Mr. Hough and the press — The first inquirer — Mat- 
thew translated — 111 health — Horrors of the sea voyage to Ma- 
dras — Mrs. Judson's heroism during his absence — Arrival of 


Messrs. Colman and Wheelock — Beginning of public worship in 
the zayat — The first baptism — Handpicking among the Bur- 
mans — Rising persecution —Determination to go to Ava — Death 
of Wheelock 74 




Journey to Ava — Unsuccessful visit at court — Return to Rangoon — 
Firmness of the converts — Colman's death in Arracan — Revival 
amid persecution — First baptism of a Burman woman — Letter 
from Burman converts to American churches — Mrs. Judson's 
alarming illness — The voyage to Calcutta and return — Series of 
conversions and baptisms — Mrs. Judson's visit to America — Per- 
sonal appearance — Mr. Judson's solitude— Arrival of Dr. and 
Mrs. Price— Death of Mrs. Price — Second journey to Ava — 
Favorable reception at Court — Return to Rangoon — Purpose to 
establish a mission at Ava 147 



Third journey to Ava — Bright prospects — Gathering war-cloud — 
Cold reception at Court — War between the English and Bur- 
mans- All the white foreigners thrown into prison — Duration of 
imprisonment — The place — Horrors of an Oriental jail — Serene 
faith — Mrs. Judson's intercessions — Birth of Maria — Removal to 
Oung-pen-la — Final release — His personal 'reminiscences of his 
captivity — A British officer's description of Mrs. Judson 212 



Treaty of peace — Condition of affairs in Rangoon — The Wades and 
Boardmans at Calcutta — Description of Mr. and Mrs. Boardman 
— The foundingof Amherst — Removal to Amherst — Accompany- 
ing the English Embassy to Ava — Uncongenial employment — 
Mrs. Judson's death — His return to Amherst — Arrival of the 


Wades and Boardmans — Death of little Maria — Decline of Am- 
herst — Removal to Maulmain— Death of Mah-men-la — Death of 
his father 282 



Guyonism — Tendency toward asceticism — Physical constitution 
shaken by tortures and sorrows — Solitude — American Christians 
slow to send reinforcements — Intense piety— Forms of self- 
mortification — Gives property to the Board — Destroys all corre- 
spondence and materials for eulogiums — Crucifies tnste for litera- 
ture — Gives up society — His intense socialness — Recovery of 
equilibrium — The mission-house at Maulmain — Bold robbery — 
Zayat work — School work — Women and children persecuted — 
Sufferings of Mee-Shway-ee — Work of translation — Ordination 
of Moung-Thah-a — Ordmation and death of Moung-Ing — Re- 
moval of Boardman to Tavoy — Death of Elnathan Judson — Ar- 
rival of Mr. and Mrs. Bennett— Removal of the Wades to Ran- 
goon — Mr. Judson repairs to Rangoon — Attempt to establish 
a mission in Prome — Return to Rangoon — Burman thirst for the 
Word — Distribution of tracts — Seclusion at Rangoon for the 
Bible translation — Interior of his study — Invitation to visit 
America declined — Regard for the health of his missionary asso- 
ciates — Death of Boardman 303 



Return to Maulmain — Condition of affairs — The Karens — Views of 
ministerial education — Tours in the Karen jungles — Reinforce- 
ments from America — His personal habits — His marriage to 
Mrs. Boardman — Her heroic career at Tavoy — Parting with 
George — Translating the Bible — Revision — His views of dis- 
tributing the Bible — His views of the Old Testament — The ex- 
cellence of his Burman version of the Bible — Teaching and 
preaching— Personal appearance — Annals of domestic life — Birth 
ofAbbyAnn — Birth of Adoniram Brown — Declining health — 
Birth of Elnathan— Voyage to Calcutta and return — Birth of 
Henry— Birth of Luther — Voyage of the family to Calcutta — 

cox TEXTS. XI 

Death of Henry at Serampore — Return to Maulmain via Isle of 
France — Incidents of the voyag-e — Birth of Henry Hall — Death 
of his aged mother at Plymouth — Beginning the Burman dic- 
tionary - . . • . . 376 



1 845-1 846. 

The births of Charles and Edward — Mrs. Judson's declining health 
— Voyage to America necessary — Arrival at the Isle of France — 
" We part on this green islet, love " — Mrs. Judson's death at St. 
Helena — Arrival in Boston— His humility — An address in Eaton 
— A sermon at Plymouth — Missionary mass-meeting in Boston — 
Providence — New York — Bradford — Death of Charlie — Phila- 
delphia — Utica — Waterville College — Hamilton — Richmond — 
Baltimore — Sketch of Emily Chubbuck — His first meeting with 
Emily Chubbuck^-Marriage — Conflicting public opinions— Jud- 
son longs for his Burman home — Farewell to his sister and to 
his children — Embarcation 442 


I 846- I 8 50. 

Passing St. Helena — The Isle of France and Amherst — Arrival at 
Maulmain — Resuming work on the dictionary — Removal to 
Rangoon — " Bat Castle " — Sickness, suffering, and persecution 
at Rangoon — Retreat to Maulmain — The permission that came 
too late — Preaching, translating, and pastcal work — A spirit 
unconquerably youthful — Personal appearance — Correspondence 
with the Crown Prince of Siam — Sympathy w.ith those in sor- 
row — Domestic life — Birth of " My Bird " — Mrs. Judson's de- 
clining health — His last illness and death at sea — Birth and 
death of " Angel Charlie " — Closing scenes — " Sweet mother ".. 494 



The Burman Dictionary unfinished — Summary of results in Bur- 
mah — The difficulties overcome — Results in America — Forma- 


tion of missionaiy organizations — The American Board of Com- 
missioners for Foreign Missions — The American Baptist Mis- 
sionary Union — Missionary societies among the Episcopalians, 
Methodists, and Presbyterians — Indirect influences of his life — 
His sufferings fruitful of blessing — The graves of our mission- 
aries 550 


A. — Autobiographical Record of Dates and Events, by A. Judson. 561 

B. — Mr. Judson's First Tract for the Burmans 568 

C— The Threefold Cord 571 

D. — Advice to Missionary Candidates 577 

E. — The Kathayan Slave 580 

F. — Wayside Preaching 589 


Portrait of Adoniram Judson, - - - - Ffontzspz'ece 
Maps, -_-_-___ Pages xiv and xv 

Portrait of Adoniram Judson, Jun., _ _ _ Page 31 

Exterior of Prison Enclosure, - - - - - " 219 
Interior of Prison, -_-___-" 221 
Portrait cf Ann H. Judson, - - - - - " 263 
Fac-Simile of Mrs. S. B. Judson's Handwriting, - " 456 
Fac-Simile of Adoniram Judson's Handwriting, - " 457 
Portrait of Emily C. Judson, - - - - - " 485 
Mrs. E. C, Judson and Family, - - - - - " 547 





1 788-1 809. 

The traveller who visits Maiden, Massachusetts, one of 
the picturesque suburban towns of Boston, may find in the 
Baptist meeting-house a marble tablet, bearing the follow- 
ing inscription : 



BORN AUG. 9. 1788. 

DIED APRIL 12, 1850. 







An old wooden house embosomed among the trees is 
still pointed out as the birthplace of Adoniram Judson. 
His father, who also bore the quaint, scriptural name of 
Adoniram, was a Congregationalist minister, born in Wood- 
bur}% Connecticut, in June, 1752. He was married Novem- 
ber 23, 1786, to Abigail Brown, who was born at Tiverton, 
Rhode Island, December 15, 1759. Soon after his marriage 
he settled in Maiden, Massachusetts, and here his eldest 
son, Adoniram, was born. 


The boy was very precocious, learning to read when he 
was only three years old. While his father was absent on 
a journey, his mother conceived the idea of teaching her 
child to read, in order that she might give her husband an 
agreeable surprise on his return. She succeeded so well 
that upon his father's return he saluted him by reading a 
whole chapter in the Bible. 

His affection for his father must have been deeply tinged 
with awe ; for the elder Adoniram was a stern man, and very 
strict in his domestic administration. One who saw him in 
his later life, when he was over seventy years of age, says: 

" He was, as I remember him, a man of decidedly imposing appear- 
ance. His stature was rather above the average. His white hair, erect 
position, grave utterance, and somewhat taciturn manner, together with 
the position he naturally took in society, left one somewhat at a loss 
whether to class him with a patriarch of the Hebrews or a censor of the 
Romans. He was through life esteemed a man of inflexible integrity 
and uniform consistency of Christian character. " 

To the influence of such a father perhaps were due the 
stately courtesy that characterized Mr. Judson's social inter- 
course throughout his whole life, and the dignity of style 
which pervaded even his most familiar letters. 

His father stimulated his ambition to the utmost. He 
seems early to have formed the hope that his boy was to 
become a great man, and he took no pains to hide this 
expectation ; so that even in childhood Adoniram's heart 
came to be full of worldly ambition, which in subsequent 
years had to be nailed to the cross. For if a man can sink 
the desire to be great in a passion for doing good, then his 
greatness really begins. " No man," says Carlyle, " rises so 
high as he who knows not whither he is going." 

The family lived in Maiden until Adoniram was about 
four and a half years old. During that time his sister, 
Abigail Brown Judson,was born, to become the companion 
of his childhood and his life-long confidante. She still sur- 
vives him ; and in the old homestead at Plymouth, at the 


age of more than ninety years, awaits a reunion with that 
brother of whose " affectionate tenderness " she has still a 
" vivid recollection." She remembers hearing her parents 
relate how even in those early childhood days in Maiden, 
when her brother was only four years old, he used to gather 
together the children of the neighborhood to play church, 
he ofificiating as minister; and that even then his favorite 
hymn was the one beginning, " Go preach my Gospel, saith 
the Lord." 

In January, 1793, the family removed to Wenham, Mas- 
sachusetts, a village about twenty miles north-east of Boston. 
Here Adoniram lived until he was twelve years old. Here 
his brother Elnathan, who became a surgeon in the United 
States Navy, was born May ■ 28, 1794. Here, too, when 
Adoniram was eight years old, his sister Mary was born, 
and died six months later. The loss of this little sister 
must have marked an epoch in his boyhood, for memorable 
is the hour when the keen ploughshare of sorrow tears up 
the fresh turf of a child's heart. 

Wenham, too, was the scene of many of the following 
reminiscences, for which we are indebted to the pen of 
Mrs. E. C. Judson : 

" Adoniram was about seven years old, when, having been 
duly instructed that the earth is a spherical body, and that it 
revolves around the sun, it became a serious question in his 
mind whether or not the sun moved at all. He might have 
settled the point by asking his father or mother ; but that 
would have spoiled all his pleasant speculations, and prob- 
ably would have been the very last thing to occur to him. 
His little sister, whom alone he consulted, said the sun did 
move, for she could see it ; but he had learned already, in 
this matter, to distrust the evidence of his senses, and he 
talked so wisely about positive proof, that she was astonished 
and silenced. Soon after this, he was one day missed about 
midday ; and as he had not been seen for several hours, his 
father became uneasv and went in search of him. He was 


found in a field, at some distance from the house, stretched 
on his back, his hat with a circular hole cut in the crown, laid 
over his face, and his swollen eyes almost blinded with the 
intense light and heat. He only told his father that he was 
looking at the sun ; but he assured his sister that he had 
solved the problem with regard to the sun's moving, though 
she never could comprehend the process by which he arrived 
at the result. 

" He was noted among his companions for uncommon 
acuteness in the solution of charades and enigmas, and re- 
tained a great store of them in his memory for the purpose 
of puzzling his school-fellows. On one occasion he found in 
a newspaper an enigma rather boastfully set forth, and ac- 
companied by a challenge for a solution. He felt very sure 
that he had 'guessed riddles as hard as that,' and gave him- 
self no rest until he had discovered a satisfactory answer. This 
he copied out in as fair a hand as possible, addressed it to the 
editor, and, with no confidante but his sister, conveyed it to 
the post-office. But the postmaster supposed it to be some 
mischievous prank of the minister's son, and he accordingly 
placed the letter in the hands of the father. The poor boy's 
surprise and discomfiture may be imagined when he saw it 
paraded on the table after tea. ' Is that yours, Adoniram ? ' 
' Yes, sir.' * How came you to write it ? ' Silence. 'What is 
it about?' Falteringly, 'Please read it, father.' 'I do not 
read other people's letters. Break the seal, and read it your- 
self.' Adoniram broke the seal and mumbled over the con- 
tents, then placed the letter in his father's hands. He read 
it, called for the newspaper which had suggested it, and after 
reading and re-reading both, laid them on the table, crossed 
his hands on his knees, and looked intently into the fire. 
Meantime Adoniram stood silently watching his countenance, 
speculating on the chances of his being treated as a culprit, 
or praised for his acuteness. But the father woke from his 
reverie, the subject of conversation was changed, and the 
letter never heard of afterward. The next morning Adoni- 
ram's father gravely informed him that he had purchased for 
his use a book of riddles, a very common one, but, as soon as 


he had solved all that it contained, he should have more diffi- 
cult books. ' You are a very acute boy, Adoniram,' he added, 
patting him on the head with unusual affection, ' and I ex- 
pect you to become a great man.' Adoniram seized upon 
the book of riddles joyfully, and was a good deal surprised 
and disappointed to find it the veritable arithmetic which the 
larger boys in Master Dodge's school were studying. But 
then his father had praised him, and if there was anything 
puzzling in the arithmetic, he was sure he should like it ; and 
so he prepared to enter upon the study with alacrity. 

" Before reaching his tenth year, he had gained quite a 
reputation for good scholarship, especially in arithmetic. A 
gentleman residing in the neighboring town of Beverly sent 
him a problem, with the offer of a dollar for the solution. 
Adoniram immediately shut himself in his chamber. The 
reward was tempting ; but, more important still, his reputa- 
tion was at stake. On the morning of the second day he was 
called from his seclusion to amuse his little brother, who was 
ill. He went reluctantly, but without murmuring, for the 
government of his parents was of a nature that no child 
would think of resisting. His task was to build a cob-house. 
He laid an unusually strong foundation, with unaccountable 
slowness and hesitation, and was very deliberately proceed- 
ing with the superstructure, when suddenly he exclaimed, 
* That's it. I've got it ! ' and sending the materials for the 
half-built house rolling about the room, he hurried off to his 
chamber to record the' result. The problem was solved, the 
dollar was won, and the boy's reputation established. 

"At the age of ten he was sent to one Captain Morton, of 
whom he took lessons in navigation, in which he is said to 
have made decided progress. In the grammar-school he was 
noted for his proficiency in the Greek language. His school- 
mates nicknamed him Virgil, or (in allusion to the peculiar 
style of the hat which he wore, as well as to his studious 
habits) 'old Virgil dug up.' As a boy, he was spirited, self- 
confident, and exceedingly enthusiastic, very active and en- 
ergetic, but fonder of his books than of play. His sister has 
a vivid recollection of his affectionate tenderness toward her, 


and of his great kindness to inferior animals. He was very 
fond of desultory reading ; and as there were no books for 
children at that period, he alternated between the books of 
theology found in his father's library and the novels of 
Richardson and Fielding, or the plays of Ben Jonson, which 
he was able to borrow in the neighborhood. It is not prob- 
able that his father encouraged this latter class of reading ; 
but the habits of self-dependence, which he had thought 
proper to cultivate in his son, left his hours of leisure mostly 
untrammelled; and seeing the greediness with which the boy 
occasionally devoured books of the gravest character, it very 
likely had not occurred to him that he could feel the least 
possible interest in any work of the imagination. 

" Before Adoniram was twelve years of age, he had heard 
visitors at his father's talk a great deal of a new exposition 
of the Apocalypse, which they pronounced a work of rare 
interest. Now, the Revelation was the book that, of all 
others in the Bible, he delighted most to read ; and he had 
searched the few commentators his father possessed without 
getting much light upon its mysteries. The new exposition 
was owned by a very awe-inspiring gentleman in the neigh- 
borhood ; but Adoniram felt that he must have it, and after 
combating a long time with his bashfulness, he at last deter- 
mined on begging the loan of it. He presented himself in 
the great man's library, and was coldly and sternly refused. 
For once, his grief and mortification were so great that he 
could not conceal the affair from his father. He received 
more sympathy than he anticipated. * Not lend it to you ! ' 
said the good man, indignantly ; ' 1 wish /;<? could understand 
it half as well. You shall have books, Adoniram, just as 
many as you can read, and I'll go to Boston myself for them.' 
He performed his promise, but the desired work on the 
Apocalypse, perhaps for judicious reasons, was not obtained." 

In the year 1800 the family removed to Braintree, and two 
years later, when Adoniram was fourteen years old, took up 
their abode in the old historic town of Plymouth. In 1804 
he entered Providence College — subsequently called Brown 
University — one year in advance. 


During his college course he was a hard student ; and in 
1807, at the age of nineteen, was graduated the valedictorian 
of his class, in spite of the fact that for six weeks of the 
Senior year he was absent, engaged in teaching school in 
Plymouth. He was ambitious to excel; and a classmate 
says of him, he has " no recollection of his ever failing, or 
even hesitating, in recitation." He had a powerful rival in 
his friend Bailey,* and this probably added zest to his am- 
bition. When he received the highest appointment in the 
commencement exercises, his delight knew no bounds. He 
hurried to his room, and wrote, " Dear father, I have got it. 
Your affectionate son, A. J." He then took a circuitous 
route to the post-office, that he might quiet the beatings of 
his heart, and appear with propriety before his classmates, 
and especially before his rival friend. 

To his circumspect and studious behavior while in col- 
lege, a letter to his father from the President of the College 
bears unequivocal witness : 

"Brown University, April Tp^ 1805. 

" Rev. Sir : Notwithstanding the greatness of my present hurry, I 
must drop you a word respecting your son ; and this, I can assure you, 
is not by way of complaint. A uniform propriety of conduct, as well as 
an intense application to study, distinguishes his character. Your ex- 
pectations of him, however sanguine, must certainly be gratified. I 
most heartily congratulate you, my dear sir, on that charming prospect 
which you have exhibited in' this very amiable and promising son ; and I 
most heartily pray that the Father of mercies may make him now, while 
a youth, a son in his spiritual family, and give him an earnest of the in- 
heritance of the saints in light. 

" I am, very respectfully, 

" Your friend and servant, 

" Asa Messer." 

In the autumn of 1807, young Judson opened in Plym- 
outh a private Academy, which he taught for nearly a 
year. During this time he also published two text-books : 

» The late Hon. John Bailey, member of Congress from Massachusetts. 


"The Elements of English Grammar," and "The Young 
Lady's Arithmetic." 

But the most important event of this period of his life 
was his conversion. In a condensed journal of his, entitled 
"A Record of Dates and Events pertaining to the Life of 
Adoniram Judson," — a valuable document still preserved in 
autograph, and reproduced in the Appendix — may be found 
the following entry: "1808, Nov. Began to entertain a 
hope of having received the regenerating influences of the 
Holy Spirit."* 

From his earliest years he had indeed breathed a thorough- 
ly Christian atmosphere. He could truly have said with 
St. Augustine, " This name of my Saviour, Thy Son, had 
my tender heart, even with my mother's milk, devoutly 
drunk in, and deeply cherished ; and whatsoever was with- 
out that name, though never so learned, polished, or true, 
took not entire hold of me." 

The following reminiscences of his youth, by Mrs. E. C. 
Judson, show that years before he had given serious thought 
to the subject of personal religion : 

" When about fourteen years of age, his studies were inter- 
rupted by a serious attack of illness, by which he was re- 
duced to a state of extreme weakness, and for a long time 
his recovery was doubtful. It was more than a year before 
he was able to resume his customary occupations. Previous 
to this, he had been too actively engaged to devote much 
time to thought ; but as soon as the violence of the disease 
subsided, he spent many long days and nights in reflecting 
on his future course. His plans were of the most extrava- 
gantly ambitious character. Now he was an orator, now a 
poet, now a statesman ; but whatever his character or pro- 
fession, he was sure in his castle-building to attain to the 
highest eminence. After a time, one thought crept into his 
mind, and embittered all his musings. Suppose he should 
attain to the very highest pinnacle of which human nature is 

* See Appendix A. 


capable ; what then ? Could he hold his honors forever ? 
His favorites of other ages had long since been turned to 
dust, and what was it to them that the world still praised 
them ? What would it be to him, when a hundred years had 
gone by, that America had never known his equal ? He did 
not wonder that Alexander wept when at the summit of his 
ambition ; he felt very sure that he should have wept too. 
Then he would become alarmed at the extent of his own 
wicked soarings, and try to comfort himself with the idea 
that it was all the result of the fever in his brain. 

" One day his mind reverted to religious pursuits. Yes, an 
eminent divine was very well, though he should of course 
prefer something more brilliant. Gradually, and without his 
being aware of his own train of thought, his mind instituted 
a comparison between the great worldly divine, toiling for 
the same perishable objects as his other favorites, and the 
humble minister of the Gospel, laboring only to please God 
and benefit his fellow-men. There was (so he thought) a 
sort of sublimity about that, after all. Surely the world was 
all wrong, or such a self-abjuring man would be its hero. 
Ah, but the good man had a reputation more enduring. Yes, 
yes, his fame was sounded before him as he entered the other 
world ; and that was the only fame worthy of the possession, 
because the only one that triumphed over the grave. Sud- 
denly, in the midst of his self-gratulation, the words flashed 
across his mind, 'Not unto us, not unto us, but to Thy name 
be the glory.' He was confounded. Not that he had actu- 
ally made himself the representative of this last kind of great- 
ness ; it was not sufficiently to his taste for that ; but he had 
ventured on dangerous ground, and he was startled by a 
flood of feelings that had till now remained dormant. He 
had always said and thought, so far as he had thought any- 
thing about it, that he wished to become truly religious ; but 
now religion seemed so entirely opposed to all his ambitious 
plans, that he was afraid to look into his heart, lest he should 
discover what he did not like to confess, even to himself — 
that he did not want to become a Christian. He was fully 
awake to the vanity of worldly pursuits, and was, on the 


whole, prepared to yield the palm of excellence to religious 
ones ; but his father had often said he would one day be a 
great man, and a great man he had resolved to be." 

During his college course he began to cherish skeptical 

" It was at this period that French infidelity was sweeping 
over the land like a flood ; and free inquiry in matters of re- 
ligion was supposed to constitute part of the education of 
every man of spirit. Young Judson did not escape the con- 
tamination. In the class above him was a young man by the 

name of E , who was amiable, talented, witty, exceedingly 

agreeable in person and manners, but a confirmed Deist. A 
very strong friendship sprang up between the two young 
men, founded on similar tastes and sympathies ; and Judson 
soon became, at least professedly, as great an unbeliever as 
his friend. The subject of a profession was often discussed 
between them. At one time they proposed entering the law, 
because it afforded so wide a scope for political ambition ; 
and at another, they discussed their own dramatic powers, 
with a view to writing plays. 

" Immediately on closing the school at Plymouth, Judson 
set out on a tour through the Northern States. After visit- 
ing some of the New England States, he left the horse with 
w^hich his father had furnished him with an uncle in Sheffield, 
Connecticut, and proceeded to Albany to see the wonder of 
the world, the newly-invented Robert Fulton steamer. She 
was about proceeding on her second trip to New York, and 
he gladly took passage in her. The magnificent scenery of 
the Hudson had then excited comparatively little attention, 
and its novelty and sublimity could not fail to make a deep 
and lasting impression on one of Judson's ardent and advent- 
urous spirit. Indeed, during his last illness, he described it 
with all the enthusiasm that he might have done in his youth. 
His name was frequently mistaken for that of Johnson ; and 
it occurred to him that, in the novel scenes before him, he 
might as well use this convenient disguise, in order to see as 
deeply into the world as possible. He therefore, without 


actually giving out the name with distinctness, or ever writ- 
ing it down, became Mr. Johnson. He had not been long in 
New York before he contrived to attach himself to a theatri- 
cal company, not with the design of entering upon the stage, 
but partly for the purpose of familiarizing himself with its 
regulations, in case he should enter upon his literary proj- 
ects, and partly from curiosity and love of adventure.* 

" Before setting out upon his tour he had unfolded his in- 
fidel sentiments to his father, and had been treated with the 
severity natural to a masculine mind that has never doubted, 
and to a parent who, after having made innumerable sacri- 
fices for the son of his pride and his love, sees him rush 
recklessly on to his own destruction. His mother was none 
the less distressed, and she wept, and prayed, and expostu- 
lated. He knew his superiority to his father in argument ; 
but he had nothing to oppose to his mother's tears and 
'warnings, and they followed him now wherever he went. 
He knew that he was on the verge of such a life as he 
despised. For the world he would not see a young brother 
in his perilous position; but 'I,' he thought, *am in no 
danger. I am only seeing the world — the dark side of it, as 
well as the bright ; and I have too much self-respect to do 
anything mean or vicious.' After seeing what he wished of 
New York, he returned to Sheffield for his horse, intending 
to pursue his journey westward. His uncle. Rev. Ephraim 

* The natural tenderness of the sister from whom some of these reminiscences have 
been derived, has cast a mantle of charity over this episode in Mr. Judson's life. There 
is reason to believe that his course was more wayward than is heie indicated. 

An English gentleman who, many years after, was his fellow-prisoner in Ava, writes 
as follows : "I will give the story as I heard it from the actor's own mouth, and as 
nearly as I can recollect them, in his words : ' In my early days of wildness I joined 
a band of strolling players. We lived a reckless, vagabond life, finding lodgings 
where we could, and bilking the landlord where we found opportunity — in other words, 
running up a score, and then decamping without paying the reckoning. Before leav- 
ing America, when the enormity of this vicious course rested with a depressing weight 
on my mind, I made a second tour over the same ground, carefully making amends 
to all whom I had injured.' " 

This, though rather a coarse statement of the case, seems to the author in the 
main truthful. The author does not wish to gloze over this episode in Mr. Judson's 
life. Such a wrong course, succeeded by thorough repentance and reparation, he 
thinks quite characteristic of Mr. Judson's positive nature. 


Judson, was absent, and a very pious young man occupied 
his place. His conversation was characterized by a godly 
sincerity, a solemn but gentle earnestness, which addressed 
itself to the heart, and Judson went away deeply impressed. 
"The next night he stopped at a country inn. The land- 
lord mentioned, as he lighted him to his room, that he had 
been obliged to place him next door to a young man who 
was exceedingly ill, probably in a dying state ; but he hoped 
that it would occasion him no uneasiness. Judson assured 
him that, beyond pity for the poor sick man, he should have 
no feeling whatever, and that now, having heard of the cir- 
cumstance, his pity would not of course be increased by the 
nearness of the object. But it was, nevertheless, a very rest- 
less night. Sounds came from the sick-chamber — sometimes 
the movements of the watchers, sometimes the groans of the 
sufferer ; but it was not these which disturbed him. He 
thought of what the landlord had said — the stranger was' 
probably in a dying state ; and was he prepared ? Alone, 
and in the dead of night, he felt a blush of shame steal over 
him at the question, for it proved the shallowness of his 
philosophy. What would his late companions say to his 

weakness ? The clear-minded, intellectual, witty E , what 

would he say to such consummate boyishness ? But still his 
thoughts would revert to the sick man. Was he a Christian, 
calm and strong in the hope of a glorious immortality ? or 
was he shuddering upon the brink of a dark, unknown future ? 
Perhaps he was a * freethinker,' educated by Christian 
parents, and prayed over by a Christian mother. The land- 
lord had described him as a young man ; and in imagination 
he was forced to place himself upon the dying bed, though he 
strove with all his might against it. At last morning came, 
and the bright flood of light which it poured into his cham- 
ber dispelled all his ' superstitious illusions.' As soon as he 
had risen, he went in search of the landlord, and inquired for 
his fellow-lodger. * He is dead,' was the reply. ' Dead ! ' 
' Yes, he is gone, poor fellow ! The doctor said he would 
probably not survive the night' ' Do you know who he 
was ? ' ' O, yes ; it was a young man from Providence Col- 



\&%Q^ — a very fine fellow ; his name was E .' Judson was 

completely stunned. After hours had passed, he knew not 
how, he attempted to pursue his journey. But one single 
thought occupied his mind, and the words, Dead ! lost ! lost ! 
were continually ringing in his ears. He knew the religion 
of the Bible to be true ; he felt its truth ; and he was in 
despair. In this state of mind he resolved to abandon his 
scheme of travelling, and at once turned his horse's head 
toward Plymouth." 

He arrived at Plymouth September 22, 1808, and in Oc- 
tober of the same year entered the Theological Institution at 
Andover, one year in advance. As he was neither a pro- 
fessor of religion nor a candidate for the ministry, he was 
admitted only by special favor. On the 2d of December, 
1808, he made a solemn dedication of himself to God ; and 
on the 28th of May, 1809, at the age of twenty-one, joined 
the Third Congregational church in Plymouth. His con- 
version involved in itself a consecration to the Christian 
ministry. How complete this consecration was, may be 
seen in the following extract from a letter to Miss Ann 

Hasseltine : 

" Andover, Dece7nher 30, iSio. Sunday Eve. 

** I have been through the labors of another Sabbath. A 
preacher can saj'- with Pope, ' E'en Sunday shines no day of 
rest to me.' Brother Nott preaches this evening ; but, on 
account of a cold, I stay at home. I am persuaded that the 
chief reason why we do not enjoy religion is, that we do not 
try to enjoy it. We are not like a good man who resolved 
that he tvould grow in grace. We pervert the doctrine of our 
dependence to indulging indolence and sinful ease. I have 
enjoyed some religion to-da}', and I think by means of resolv- 
ing in the morning that I would avoid everything displeas- 
ing to God. I have some hope that I shall be enabled to 
keep this in mind, in whatever I do — Is it pleasing to God? 
To assist my memory, I have used the expedient of inscrib- 
ing it on several articles which frequently meet my sight. 
Is it not a good plan ? But after all, it will be of no use, 


unless I resolve, in divine strength, instantly to obey the 
decision of conscience." 

" December 31. Monday Eve. 

" It is now half after nine, and I have been sitting fifteen 
minutes with my pen in hand, thinking how to begin. I 
have this day attained more than ever to what I suppose 
Christians mean by the enjoyment of God. I have had 
pleasant seasons at the throne of God. Those lines of Watts 
have been very sweet to me : 

" ' Till Thou hast brought me to my home, 
Where fears and doubts can never come, 
Thy countenance let me often see. 
And often Thou shalt hear from me." 

(78/^ of 1st Book.) 

God is waiting to be gracious, and is willing to make us 
happy in religion, if we would not run away from Him. We 
refuse to open the window-shutters, and complain that it is 
dark. We grieve the Holy Spirit by little sins, and thus lose 
our only support. Perhaps the secret of living a holy life is 
to avoid everything which will displease God and grieve the 
Spirit, and to be strictly attentive to the means of grace. 
God has promised that He will regard the man that is of a 
broken and contrite spirit, and trembleth at His word. He 
has promised that they that wait upon Him shall renew their 
strength. The Almighty, the immutably faithful, has made 
this promise. He is not a man, that He should lie, and His 
arm is not of flesh. Wait, then, upon the Lord. Of how much 
real happiness we cheat our souls by preferring a trifle to 
God ! We have a general intention of living religion ; but 
we intend to begin to-morrow or next year. The present 
moment we prefer giving to the world. 'A little more sleep, 
a little more slumber.' Well, a little more sleep, and we shall 
sleep in the grave. A few days, and our work will be done. 
And when it is once done, it is done to all eternity. A life 
once spent is irrevocable. It will remain to be contemplated 
through eternity. If it be marked with sins, the marks 
will be indelible. If it has been a useless life, it can never 
be improved. Such it will stand forever and ever. The same 


may be said of each day. When it is once past, it is gone 
forever. All the marks which we put upon it, it will exhibit 
forever. It will never become less true that such 'a day was 
spent in such a manner. Each day will not only be a wit- 
ness of our conduct, but will affect our everlasting destiny. 
No day will lose its share of influence in determining where 
shall be our seat in heaven. How shall we then wish to see 
each day marked with usefulness ! It will then be too late 
to mend its appearance. It is too late to mend the days thai 
are past. The future is in our power. Let us, then, each 
morning, resolve to send the day into eternity in such a garb 
as we shall wish it to wear forever. And at night let us 
reflect that one more day is irrevocably gone, indelibly 
marked. Good-night." 



In September, 1809, young Judson, at the age of twenty- 
one, began to ponder seriously the subject of Foreign Mis- 
sions. He had just finished his first year of study at Ando- 
ver ; another year of the theological course remained. At 
this time there fell into his hands a sermon preached in the 
parish church of Bristol, England, by Dr. Claudius Buchanan, 
who had for many years been a chaplain to the British East 
India Company. The sermon was entitled, " The Star in 
the East," and had for its text Matt. ii. 2 : " For we have 
seen His Star in the East, and are come to worship Him." 
The leading thought of the sermon was the Evidences of 
the Divine Power of the Christian Religion in the East. 
Dr. Buchanan described the progress of the Gospel in 
India, and especially the labors of the venerable German 
missionary, Schwartz. This sermon fell like a spark into the 
tinder of Judson's soul. 

In a letter written many years afterward, he says : 

" Though I do not now consider that sermon as peculiarly 
excellent, it produced a very powerful effect on my mind. 
For some days I was unable to attend to the studies of my 
class, and spent my time in wondering at my past stupidity, 
depicting the most romantic scenes in missionary life, and 
roving about the college rooms declaiming on the subject 
of missions. My views were very incorrect, and my feelings 
extravagant ; but yet I have always felt thankful to God for 


bringing me into that state of excitement, which was perhaps 
necessary, in the first instance, to enable me to break the 
strong attachment I felt to home and country, and to endure 
the thought of abandoning all my wonted pursuits and ani- 
mating prospects. That excitement soon passed away ; but 
it left a strong desire to prosecute my inquiries and ascertain 
the path of duty. It was during a solitary walk in the woods 
behind the college, while meditating and praying on the sub- 
ject, and feeling half inclined to give it up, that the command 
of Christ, ' Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to 
every creature,' was presented to my mind with such clear- 
ness and power, that I came to a full decision, and though 
great difficulties appeared in my way, resolved to obey the 
command at all events." 

Six months elapsed from the time of his reading Buchan- 
an's " Star in the East " before he made the final resolve to 
become a missionary to the heathen. This was in February, 
1 8 10. He was, no doubt, stimulated to form this purpose 
by close contact with several other young men of like aspi- 
rations. When a man is rocking in the trough of the sea 
of indecision, it is very reassuring to have his interior con- 
viction matched by an external Providence. His earliest 
missionary associate was Samuel Nott, Jr., who entered the 
Seminary early in the year 18 10, and was even then weigh- 
ing the question whether he should devote himself to the 
work of carrying the Gospel to the heathen. About the 
same time there came to Andover four young men from 
Williams College — Samuel J. Mills, Jr., James Richards, 
Luther Rice, and Gordon Hall. While in college these 
students had formed a missionary society, and they were 
accustomed to meet together at night beneath a haystack 
near the college grounds. At Williamstown, on the spot 
where now stands the famous Haystack Monument, these 
young men consecrated themselves to the work of Foreign 
Missions, and poured out their fervent prayers for the con- 
version of the world ; and this green nook among the Berk- 


shire hills may well be called the birthplace of American 
Foreign Missions. 

As great scientific discoveries have seemed to spring up 
almost simultaneously in the minds of independent and 
widely-separated thinkers, sometimes engendering a strife 
as to the original discoverer, so this grand thought of 
evangelizing the heathen seems to have been in the atmos- 
phere, and to have floated at almost the same time into the 
hearts of different young men living far apart. Christian 
society was like a field which, having been ploughed and 
sown, has folded up in its bosom a potency of growth. 
Judson and his associates were like the first green shoots, 
scattered far and wide, that appear above the ground 
and promise to be followed by countless others. It was 
after long meditation and prayer, and in communion with 
kindred glowing spirits, that the thought in Judson's mind 
of consecrating himself to the foreign missionary work be- 
came a fixed purpose. 

There were many obstacles in the way. He was not 
going among the heathen because he could not find suitable 
employment at home. He had received a tutor's appoint- 
ment in Brown University and had declined it. The Rev. 
Dr. Grififin had proposed him as his colleague in "the largest 
church in Boston." "And you will be so near home," his 
mother said. " No ! " was his reply, " I shall never live in 
Boston. I have much farther than that to go." The am- 
bitious hopes of his, father w^ere overthrown ; and his 
mother and sister shed many regretful tears. He did not 
go abroad because he was not wanted at home. 

" In the spring 
And glory of his being he went forth 
From the embraces of devoted friends, 

From ease and quiet happiness He went forth 

Strengthen'd to suffer — gifted to subdue 
The might of human passion — to pass on 
Quietly to the sacrifice of all 
The lofty hopes of boyhood, and to turn 


The high ambition written on that brow, 
From its first dream of power and human fame, 
Unto a task of seeming lowliness — 
Yet God-like in his purpose."* 

It is a mistake to suppose that a dull and second-rate 
man is good enough for the heathen. The worst-off need 
the very best we have. God gave His best, even His only- 
begotten Son, in order to redeem a lost world. The most 
darkened and degraded souls need the best thinking. When 
our Blessed Lord was presenting His Gospel to a fallen 
Samaritan woman. He seems to have preserved His best 
thought for her; and in order to make a bad woman good, 
utters in her ears the most august philosophical thesis to be 
found in any tongue : " God is a Spirit, and they that wor- 
ship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth." Mis- 
sions have had their grandest successes when England's 
best scholars, like Bishop Patteson and Bishop Selwyn, have 
devoted their splendid talents to the conversion of the 
fiercest and the lowest savages of Micronesia and New Zea- 
land. It would be a sad day for American Christians if they 
should ever deserve Nehemiah's reproach : " Their nobles put 
not their necks to the work of their Lord." Christianity 
will advance over the earth with long, swift strides when 
the churches are ready to send their best men, and the 
best men are ready to go. 

Judson fully appreciated the dangers and hardships of a 
missionary life. He seems to have counted the cost. After 
one of the battles in the Franco-Prussian war, the Ger- 
man Emperor, William, had his attention drawn to one of 
the wounded soldiers on the field. The King held out his 
hand to the powder-stained private, and asked him what his 
trade was. The man said, " I am a Doctor of Philosophy, 
your Majesty." " Well, you must have learned to bear 
your wounds philosophically," said the King. " Yes," replied 
the soldier, " that I had already made up my mind to." 

* Whittier's " The Missionary." 


■Young Judson, before he had resolved to be a missionary, 
had made up his mind to the sufferings and privations which 
he well knew were in store for him. He thus wrote to Mr. 
Hasseltine, of Bradford, when asking for his daughter's 
hand : 

" I have now to ask whether you can consent to part with 
your daughter early next spring, to see her no more in this 
world ? whether you can consent to her departure to a hea- 
then land, and her subjection to the hardships and sufferings 
of a missionary life ? whether you can consent to her expos- 
ure to the dangers of the ocean ; to the fatal influence of the 
southern climate of India ; to every kind of want and dis- 
tress ; to degradation, insult, persecution, and perhaps a 
violent death ? Can you consent to all this, for the sake of 
Him who left His heavenly home and died for her and for 
you ; for the sake of perishing, immortal souls ; for the sake 
of Zion and the glory of God ? Can you consent to all this, 
in hope of soon meeting your daughter in the world of glory, 
with a crown of righteousness brightened by the acclamations 
of praise which shall redound to her Saviour from heathens 
saved, through her means, from eternal woe and despair ? " 

These same anticipations of missionary sorrows pervade 
a pathetic letter written by him to Miss Ann Hasseltine, 
during the period of their betrothal : 

"yanriary I, 1811. Tuesday Mom. 

" It is with the utmost sincerity, and with m)^ whole heart, 
that I wish you, my love, a happy new year. May it be a 
year in which your walk will be close with God ; your frame 
calm and serene ; and the road that leads you to the Lamb 
marked with purer light. May it be a year in which you 
will have more largely the spirit of Christ, be raised above 
sublunary things, and be willing to be disposed of in this 
world just as God shall please. As every moment of the 
year will bring you nearer the end of your pilgrimage, may 
it bring you nearer to God, and find you more prepared to 
hail the messenger of death as a deliverer and a friend. 


And now, since I have begun to wish, I will go on. May this 
be the year in which you will change your name ; in which 
you will take a final leave of your relatives and native land ; 
in which you will cross the wide ocean, and dwell on the other 
side of the world, among a heathen people. What a great 
change will this year probably effect in our lives ! How very 
different will be our situation and employment ! If our lives 
are preserved and our attempt prospered, we shall next new 
year's day be in India, and perhaps wish each other a happy 
new year in the uncouth dialect of Hindostan or Burmah. 
We shall no more see our kind friends around us, or enjoy 
the conveniences of civilized life, or go to the house of God 
with those that keep holy day; but swarthy countenances 
will everywhere meet our eye, the jargon of an unknown 
tongue will assail our ears, and we shall witness the assem- 
bling of the heathen to celebrate the worship of idol gods. 
We shall be weary of the world, and wish for wings like a 
dove, that we may fly away and be at rest. We shall proba- 
bly experience seasons when we shall be * exceeding sorrow- 
ful, even unto death.' We shall see many dreary, disconsolate 
hours, and feel a sinking of spirits, anguish of mind, of which 
now we can form little conception. O, we shall wish to lie 
down and die. And that time may soon come. One of us 
may be unable to sustain the heat of the climate and the 
change of habits ; and the other may say, with literal truth, 
over the grave — 

'"By foreign hands thy dying eyes were closed ; 
By foreign hands thy decent limbs composed ; 
By foreign hands ihy humble grave adorned ; ' 

but whether we shall be honored and mourned by strangers, 
God only knows. At least, either of us will be certain of 
one mourner. In view of such scenes shall we not pray with 
earnestness, ' O for an overcoming faith,' etc. ? " 

But what steps did he and his young associates take in 
order to execute their sublime purpose ? There was at 
that time no foreign missionary society in America to which 


they could offer their services, and which would undertake 
their support in thfe foreign field. 

There was, indeed, the Massachusetts Missionary Society, 
founded in 1799, the object of which was to diffuse a mis- 
sionary spirit among the Congregational churches in New 
England, and to carry the Gospel to the Indians and to the 
newly-settled parts of our own land. But this Society had 
not yet launched upon the work of foreign missions ; and 
so Mr. Judson, and the young men who shared his purpose, 
first proposed to each other to enlist as missionaries under 
the London Missionary Society. Accordingly Mr. Judson 
wrote the following letter to the venerable Dr. Bogue, the 
President of the Seminary in Gosport, England, where the 
missionaries of the London Society received their training : 
" Divinity College, Andover, Mass., Aprils 1810. 

"Rev. Sir : I have considered the subject of missions nearly 
a year, and have found my mind gradually tending to a deep 
conviction that it is my duty personally to engage in this 
service. Several of my brethren of this college may finally 
unite with me in my present resolution. On their as well 
as my own behalf, I take the liberty of addressing you this 
letter. My object is to obtain information on certain points 
— whether there is at present such a call for missionaries in 
India, Tartary, or any part of the Eastern Continent as will 
"nduce the directors of the London Missionary Society to 
engage new missionaries ; whether two or three young, un- 
married men, having received a liberal education, and resided 
two years in this Divinity School, wishing to serve their 
Saviour in a heathen land, and indeed susceptible of a *■ pas- 
sion for missions,^ — whether such young men, arriving in Eng- 
land next spring, with full recommendations from the first 
Christian characters in this country, may expect to be re- 
ceived on probation by the directors, and placed at the semi- 
nary in Gosport, if that be judged expedient ; and whether, 
provided they give satisfaction as to their fitness to under- 
take the work, all their necessary expenses after arriving in 
England shall be defrayed from the funds of the Society, 



which funds will, it is hoped, be ultimately reimbursed by 
supplies from the American churches. 

"We have consulted our professors on this subject, par- 
ticularly Dr. Griffin, Professor of Oratory. He intends writ- 
ing to several in England, and perhaps to Dr. Bogue. But 
his engagements being such as will prevent his writing at 
present, and wishing myself to receive a letter from you im- 
mediately, containing the desired information, I have written 
myself. I close with an earnest request that you will please 
to transmit me an answer as soon as possible, and a prayer 
that your answer may be favorable to my most ardent wishes. 

"Adoniram Judson, Jr. 

" P. S. — I shall deem it a favor if you do not confine your 
remarks to the points which I have proposed, but are pleased 
to give such general inforjnation and advice as you may think 
will be useful to me and my brethren." 

While awaiting a reply to this letter, these devoted 
students made their de^res known to their teachers in the 
Seminary and to se<^eral influential ministers in the vicinity. 
The professors and ministers met for consultation on the 
matter at the house of Prof. Stuart in Andover, on Monday, 
June 25, 1810. 

These wise and conservative men advised the students to 
submit their case to the General Association, a body repre- 
senting all the Congregational churches of the State of 
Massachusetts, and which was to meet at Bradford the 
next day. 

Accordingly, on June 27, the students laid before the 
Association the following letter : 

"The undersigned, members of the Divinity College, re- 
spectfully request the attention of their reverend fathers, 
convened in the General Association at Bradford, to the fol- 
lowing statement and inquiries : 

"They beg leave to state that their minds have been long 
impressed with the duty and importance of personally at- 
tempting a mission to the heathen ; that the impressions on 


their minds have induced a serious, and, as they trust, a 
prayerful consideration of the subject in its various atti- 
tudes, particularly in relation to the probable success and 
the difficulties attending such an attempt ; and that, after 
examining all the information which they can obtain, they 
consider themselves as devoted to this work for life, whenever God, 
in His providence, shall open the way. 

" They now offer the following inquiries, on which they 
solicit the opinion and advice of this Association : Whether, 
with their present views and feelings, they ought to renounce 
the object of missions, as either visionary or impracticable ; 
if not, whether they ought to direct their attention to the 
Eastern or the Western world ; whether they may expect pat- 
ronage and support from a missionary society in this country, 
or must commit themselves to the direction of a European 
society ; and what preparatory measures they ought to take 
previous to actual engagement. 

"The undersigned, feeling their youth and inexperience, 
look up to their fathers in the Church, and respectfully so- 
licit their advice, direction, and prayers. 

"Adoniram Judson, Jr. 
" Samuel Nott, Jr. 
' " Samuel J. Mills. 
"Samuel Newell." 

The names of Luther Rice and James Richards were origi- 
nally appended to this petition, but had been stricken out 
" for fear of alarming the Association with too large a 

The General Association, when they came to act upon 
this petition, passed the following resolutions : 

" Voted, That there be instituted by this General Association, a Board 
of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, for the purpose of devising ways 
and means, and adopting and prosecuting measures, for promoting the 
spread of the Gospel in heathen lands. 

" Voted, That the said Board of Commissioners consist of nine mem- 
bers, all of them, in the first instance, chosen by this Association ; and 
afterwards, annually, five of them by this body, and four of them by the 
General Association of Connecticut. Provided, however, that if the 


General Association of Connecticut do not choose to unite in this object, 
the annual election of all the commissioners shall be by this General 

"It is understood that the Board of Commissioners, here contemplated, 
will adopt their own form of organization, and their own rules and regu- 

" Voted, That, fervently commending them to the grace of God, we 
advise the young gentlemen, whose request is before us, in the way of 
earnest prayer and diligent attention to suitable studies and means of 
information, and putting themselves under the patronage and direction 
of the Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, humbly to wait 
the openings and guidance of Providence in respect to their great and 
excellent design." 

Thus was organized the American Board of Commission- 
ers for Foreign Missions, a society widely known and justly 
revered at the present day as the missionary organ of the 
Congregational churches of America, and indeed the mother 
of American foreign missionary societies. 

The nine men originally forming this Board distrusted 
their ability to support in the foreign field* those who had 
offered their services. They feared that the missionary 
sentiment among the churches of New England was hardly 
strong enough, as yet, to undertake so great an enterprise ; 
and so they turned instinctively to their brethren in Eng- 
land, represented in the London Missionary Society, for 
aid and co-operation. They accordingly sent Mr. Judson 
to England to ascertain whether such co-operation would 
be agreeable to the London Society, 

The English directors gave Mr. Judson a most courteous 
and affectionate greeting, but a joint conduct of the missions 
did not seem practicable to them. They were willing to 
receive and support Mr. Judson and his associates as their 
own missionaries, but did not feel disposed to admit the 
American Board to a participation with them in the direc- 
tion of the work. Such co-operation might occasion com- 
plications, and they wisely thought that American Chris- 
tians were able to take care of their own missionaries. 


Mr. Judson embarked for England January ii i8ii, on 
the English ship Packet. She was captured on the ivay by a 
French privateer, and so he was subjected to imprisonment 
and compulsory detention in France. On the 6th of May 
he arrived in London, and on the i8th of June he embarked 
at Gravesend, in the ship Augustus^ bound for New York, 
where he arrived on the 17th of August. Some interesting 
reminiscences of this voyage to England have been preserved 
by the pen of Mrs. E. C. Judson: 

" There were on the ship Packet two Spanish merchants ; 
and these, I believe, were the only passengers beside Mr. 
Judson. When they were captured by L' Invincible Napoleon, 
these two gentlemen, being able to speak French, and most 
likely to furnish a bribe, were treated very civilly. Mr. Jud- 
son, however, was very young, with nothing distinctive in his 
outward appearance, and was, moreover, speechless, friend- 
less, and comparatively moneyless. He was, without ques- 
tion or remonstrance, immediately placed in the hold, Avith 
the common sailors. This was the first hardship he had ever 
known, and it affected him accordingly. He shrank from the 
associations of the place, and the confined air seemed unen- 
durable. Soon the weather roughened, and he, together 
with several of his more hardy companions, became exces- 
sively seasick. The doctor visited him every day, but he 
could not communicate with him, and the visit was nearly 
useless. Sick, sorrowful, and discouraged, his thoughts went 
back to his dear old Plymouth home, then to Bradford, and 
finally the Boston church — 'the biggest church in Boston'; 
and he became alarmed at the strange feeling that crept over 
him. It was the first moment of misgiving he had known. 
As soon as he became aware of the feeling, he commenced 
praying against it, as a temptation of the adversary. It 
seemed to him that God had permitted this capture, and all 
his trouble, as a trial of his faith ; and he resolved, in the 
strength of God, to bear it, as he might be called upon to 
bear similar trials hereafter. As soon as he had come to this 
resolution, he fumbled about in the gray twilight of his 



prison, till he succeeded in finding his Hebrew Bible. The 
light was very faint, but still he managed to see for a few 
moments at a time, and amused himself with translating 
mentally from the Hebrew to the Latin — a work which em- 
ployed his thoughts, and saved his eyes. One day the doctor, 
observing the Bible on the pillow, took it up, stepped toward 
the gangway, and examined it ; then returned, and addressed 
his patient in Latin. Through the medium of this language 
Mr. Judson managed to explain who he was ; and he was 
consequently admitted to a berth in the upper cabin, and a 
seat with his fellow-passengers, the Spaniards, at the cap- 
tain's table. 

" His second day on deck was a somewhat exciting one. 
A sail was reported from the masthead ; and while the 
stranger was yet a mere speck to the naked eye, many glasses 
were levelled curiously at her, and a general feeling of anx- 
iety seemed to prevail among the officers. Of course, Mr. 
Judson was all excitement ; for although he was now in 
comfortable circumstances, he dreaded the effect of this de- 
tention on his mission to England. Finally the stranger 
loomed up against the sky, a beautiful brig under a full 
press of canvas. As they watched her, some anxiously and 
some admiringly, suddenly her fine proportions became 
blended in a dark mass ; and it was evident to the most in- 
experienced landsman that she had changed her course. The 
two Spaniards exchanged significant glances. Mr. Judson 
felt very much like shouting for joy, but he suppressed the 
inclination ; and the next moment the order came for the 
decks to be cleared, and he, with his companions, was sent 
below. The Spaniards informed him that they were pursued 
by a vessel much larger than their own ; that the privateer 
had little to hope in an engagement, but she was the swifter 
sailer of the two, and the approaching darkness was in her 
favor. Mr. Judson passed a sleepless night, listening each 
moment for unusual sounds ; but the next morning, when he 
carefully swept the horizon with the captain's glass, not a 
mote was visible. 
"The privateer touched at Le Passage, in Spain, and there 


permitted the two Spaniards to go on shore. From thence 
the prisoners were conveyed to Bayonne, in France ; and 
Mr. Judson again, to his surprise and indignation, found 
himself marched through the streets in company with the 
crew of the Packet. He had as yet acquired only a few words 
of French, and of these he made as much use as possible, to 
the infinite amusement of the passers-by. Finally it occurred 
to him that he was much more likely to meet some person, 
either a native or a foreigner, who understood English, than 
to make his broken French intelligible. Accordingly he com- 
menced declaiming in the most violent manner possible 
against oppression in general, and this one act in particular. 
The guards threatened him by gestures, but did not proceed 
to violence ; and of the passers-by, some regarded him a mo- 
ment carelessly, others showed a little interest or curiosity, 
while many laughed outright at his seemingly senseless 
clamors. Finally a stranger accosted him in English, advis- 
ing him to lower his voice. ' With the greatest pleasure pos- 
sible,' he answered, 'if I have at last succeeded in making 
myself heard. I was only clamoring for a listener.' 'You 
might have got one you would have been glad to dismiss, if 
you had continued much longer,' was the reply. In a few 
hurried words Judson explained his situation, and, in words 
as few, learned that the gentleman was an American from 
Philadelphia, and received his promise of assistance. ' But 
3''ou had better go on your way quietly now,' added his new 
friend. * O, I will be a perfect lamb, since I have gained my 

" The prison was a gloomy-looking, massive structure, and 
the apartment into which they were conveyed Avas under- 
ground, dark and dismal. In the centre was a sort of col- 
umn, on which burned a solitary lamp, though without it 
was still broad day. Around the walls a quantity of straw 
had been spread, on which his companions soon made them- 
selves at home ; but Mr. Judson could not divest himself of 
the idea that the straw was probably not fresh, and busied 
his imagination with images of those who had last occupied 
it. The weather had seemed almost oppressively hot above- 


ground ; but now he shivered with the chilling dampness of 
the place, while the confined air and mouldy smell rendered 
him sick and gidd3^ He paced up and down the cell, he 
could not tell how long, but it seemed many hours, wonder- 
ing if his new friend would really come ; and again, if he 
did not, whether he could keep upon his feet all night ; and 
in case of failure, which part of the straw he should select as 
the least loathsome. And then his thoughts would wander 
off again to Plymouth, and to Bradford, and to the ' biggest 
church in Boston,' but not with the feeling that he had be- 
fore. On the contrary, he wondered that he ever could have 
been discouraged. He knew that at most his imprisonment 
could not last long. If he only had a chair, or the meanest 
stool, that was all he would ask. But he could not hope to 
walk or stand long. 

"While leaning against the column for a moment's rest, 
the door of the cell opened, and he instantly recognized the 
American he had seen in the street. He suppressed a cry of 
joy, and seeing that the stranger did not look at him, though 
he stood close by the lamp, tried himself to affect indiffer- 
ence. The American making some remark in French, took 
up the lamp, and then adding (or perhaps translating) in 
English, * Let me see if I know any of these poor fellows,' 
passed around the room, examining them carelessly. ' No ; 
no friend of mine,' said he, replacing the lamp, and swinging 
his great military cloak around Mr. Judson, whose slight 
figure was almost lost in its ample folds. Comprehending 
the plan, Mr. Judson drew himself into as small a compass 
as possible, thinking that he would make the best of the 
affair, though having little confidence in the clumsy artifice. 
His protector, too, seemed to have his doubts, for, as he 
passed out, he slid some money into the jailer's hand, and 
again, at the gate, made another disbursement, and as soon 
as they were outside, released his protege, with the expres- 
sive words, * Now run ! ' Mr. Judson quite forgot his fatigue 
from walking in the cell, as he fleetly followed his tall con- 
ductor through the streets to the wharf, where he was placed 
on board an American merchantman for the nisfht. The 


next evening his friend returned, infoiming him that his 
place of refuge had been only temporarily chosen, and as 
the papers necessary to his release could not be procured im- 
mediately, he would be much safer in the attic of a ship- 
builder, who had kindly offered this place of concealment. 
Accordingly he removed to the attic, from Krhich, after a few 
days, he was released on parole. 

" Mr. Judson passed about six weeks in Bayonne, boarding 
with an American lady who had spent most of her life in 
France. He told his landlady that he was a clergyman, and 
frequently held long religious conversations with her ; but 
he did not permit his character to be known generally in the 
house, as he thought it would interfere with a plan he had of 
learning as much as possible of the real state of French soci- 
ety. He attended various places of amusement with his fel- 
low-boarders, pleading his ignorance of the language and 
customs of the country as an excuse for acting the spectator 
merely ; and in general giving such evasive replies as enabled 
him to act his part without attracting undue attention. It 
was not long, however, before his companions became pretty 
well aware that indifference formed no part of his real charac- 
ter. His shrewdness was at variance with his implied igno- 
rance of the world, and his simplicity sometimes wore a solemn 
impressiveness, from the influence of which it was impos- 
sible to escape. The last place of amusement he visited was 
a masked ball ; and here his strong feelings quite overcame 
his caution, and he burst forth in his real character. He de- 
clared to his somewhat startled companions that he did not 
believe the infernal regions could furnish more complete 
specimens of depravity than he there beheld. He spoke in 
English, and at first addressed himself to the two or three 
standing near him, who understood the language ; but his 
earnestness of manner and warmth of expression soon drew 
around him a large circle, who listened curiously and with 
apparent respect. He spoke scornfully of the proud profes- 
sions of the (so called) philosophy of the age, and pointed to 
the fearful exhibitions of that moment as illustrative of its 
effectiveness. He rapidly enumerated many of the evils 





zi^^^mz^y y^y//^^^ (CJ^i^ 

7a7a^n ifi ^/^:.'.ri£'L W /<?//. 


which infidelity had brought upon France and upon the 
world, and then showed the only way of escape from those 
evils — the despised but truly ennobling religion of Jesus 
Christ. Finally he sketched the character of man as it might 
have been in its original purity and nobleness, and then the 
wreck of soul and body to be ascribed to sin, and vvound up 
all by a personal appeal to such as had not become too de- 
based to think and feel. He had warmed as he proceeded 
with his subject, noting with pain and surprise the great 
number of those who seemed to understand the English 
language, and drawing from it an inference by no means 
favorable to his travelled countrymen. Most of the maskers 
evidently regarded the exhibition as a part of the evening's 
entertainment ; but those who understood his remarks 
seemed confounded by the boldness, and perhaps unexpect- 
edness, of the attack, and when he had finished, stood aside, 
and allowed him to pass from the place without a word. 
This incident, I have been told, was reported by some person 
present on the occasion, and published in a Boston news- 

" Mr. Judson, I do not recollect by what means, was intro- 
duced to some of the officers of Napoleon's suite, and travelled 
through the country in one of the emperor's carriages. At 
Paris, he spent most of his time in the society of these 
officers, and persons whom they introduced, and, in general, 
pursued the same course as at Bayonne. In view of the op- 
portunity thus afforded for observation, and the store of 
practical knowledge really gathered, he always regarded his 
detention in France as a very important, and, indeed, neces- 
sary part of his preparation for the duties which afterward 
devolved upon him. 

" In England he was received in a manner peculiarly flat- 
tering. He was at this time small and exceedingly delicate 
in figure, with a round, rosy face, which gave him the ap- 
pearance of extreme youthfulness. His hair and eyes were 
of a dark shade of brown, in his French passport described 
as 'chestnut.' His voice, however, was far from what would 
be expected of such a person, and usually took the listeners 


by surprise. An instance of this occurred in London. He 
sat in the pulpit with a clergyman somewhat distinguished 
for his eccentricity, and at the close of the sermon was re- 
quested to read a hymn. When he had finished, the clergy- 
man arose, and introduced his young brother to the congre- 
gation as a person who purposed devoting himself to the 
conversion of the heathen, adding, 'And if his faith is 
proportioned to his voice, he will drive the devil from all 
India.' " 

Soon after Mr. Judson returned to America, on the i8th of 
September, i8ii, the American Board of Commissioners for 
Foreign Missions met at Worcester, Mass., and advised him 
and his associates not to place themselves at present under 
the direction of the London Missionary Society. It was 
also voted that " Messrs. Adoniram Judson, Jr., Samuel 
Nott, Jr., Samuel Newell, and Gordon Hall be appointed 
missionaries to labor under the direction of this Board in 
Asia, either in the Burman Empire, or in Surat, or in Prince 
of Wales Island, or elsewhere, as, in the view of the Pru- 
dential Committee, Providence shall open the most favorable 
door." Thus the way Avas opened for Mr. Judson to realize 
his ardent desire to become a missionar}^ to the heathen. 

But he was not to go alone, for he was already betrothed 
to Miss Ann Hasseltine. They met for the first time on 
the memorable occasion already described, when, in June, 
i8io, the General Association held its session at Bradford, 
and young Judson and his fellow-students modestly made 
known their desires to attempt a mission to the heathen. 

The story is told that during the sessions the ministers 
gathered for a dinner beneath Mr. Hasseltine's hospitable 
roof. His youngest daughter, Ann, was waiting on the ta- 
ble. Her attention was attracted to the young student, 
whose bold missionary projects were making such a stir. 
But what was her surprise to observe, as she moved about 
the table, that he seemed completely absorbed in his plate ! 
Little did she dream that she had already woven her spell 



about his young heart, and that he was at that \ery time 
composing a graceful stanza in her praise. 

She was born in Bradford, December 22, 1789, and was 
about a year younger than Mr. Judson. Her parents were 
John and Rebecca Hasseltine. She had an ardent, active, 
even restless temperament ; so that her mother once reproved 
her in childhood with the ominous words, " I hope, my daugh- 
ter, you will one day be satisfied with rambling." She was 
educated at the Bradford Academy, and was a beautiful girl, 
characterized by great vivacity of spirits and intensely fond 
of society. In fact, she was so reckless in her gayety, and so 
far overtopped her young companions in mirth, that they 
feared she would have but a brief life, and be suddenly cut 

At the age of sixteen she received her first deep religious 

"One Sabbath morning," she writes, 'having prepared 
myself to attend public worship, just as I was leaving my 
toilet, I accidentally took up Hannah More's 'Strictures on 
Female Education,' and the first words that caught my eye 
were, ^ She that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth.' They 
were written in italics, with marks of admiration ; and they 
struck me to the heart. I stood for a few moments amazed 
at the incident, and half inclined to think that some invisible 
agency had directed my eye to those words. At first, I 
thought I would live a different life, and be more serious and 
sedate ; but at last I thought that they were not so applicable 
to me as I first imagined, and I resolved to think no more of 

After a struggle of several months, she could truly say : 

" I began to discover a beauty in the way of salvation by 
Christ. He appeared to be just such a Saviour as I needed. 
I saw how God could be just, in saving sinners through Him. 
I committed my soul into His hands, and besought Him to do 
with me what seemed good in His sight. When I was thus 
enabled to commit m3'self into the hands of Christ, my mind 


was relieved from that distressing weight which had borne 
it down for so long a time. I did not think that I had ob- 
tained the new heart which I had been seeking, but felt 
happy in contemplating the character of Christ, and par- 
ticularly that disposition which led Him to suffer so much, 
for the sake of doing the will and promoting the glory of 

His heavenly Father A few days after this .... I 

began to hope that I had passed from death unto life. When 
I examined myself, I was constrained to own that I had feel- 
ings and dispositions to which I was formerly an utter stran- 
ger. I had sweet communion with the blessed God from 
day to day ; my heart w^as drawn out in love to Christians 
of whatever denomination ; the sacred Scriptures were sweet 
to my taste ; and such was my thirst for religious knowledge 
that I frequently spent a great part of the night in reading 
religious books." 

She threw herself with all her native ardor into the joys 
and labors of the Christian life. She taught school for 
several years in Salem, Haverhill, and Newbury. Her con- 
stant endeavor was to bring her pupils to the Saviour. 

Her decision to become a foreign missionary must have 
required great heroism, for, thus far, no woman had ever 
left America as a missionary to the heathen. Public senti- 
ment was against her going. It was thought to be wild and 
romantic. One good lady said to another, " I hear that 
Miss Hasseltine is going to India! Why does she go?" 
"Why, she thinks it her duty. Wouldn't you go if you 
thought it your duty?" " But," replied the lady, with em.- 
phasis, " I would not think it my duty ! "* 

On the 5th of February, 1812, Mr. Judson was married to 
Ann Hasseltine, at Bradford. Two days before, at Plym- 
outh, he had taken final leave of his parents. His brother 
Elnathan accompanied him to Boston. The journey was 
made on horseback. Elnathan had not yet been converted. 

* For furthei particulars concerning Miss Hasseltine's early life the reader is referred 
to her biography, by the Rev. J. D. Knowles 



While on the way the two dismounted, and among the 
trees by the roadside they knelt down and Adoniram offered 
a fervent prayer in behalf of his younger brother. Four 
days later they parted, never to meet again on earth. The 
wayside prayer was not unheeded in heaven. Years after- 
ward Adoniram was permitted to have the assurance that 
the brother over whom his heart so fondly yearned became 
an " inheritor of the kingdom of heaven." 

On the 6th of February he received ordination at Salem 
from the Rev. Drs. Spring, Worcester, Woods, Morse, and 
Griffin ; on the 7th he bade good-bye to his younger sister 
and companion of his childhood ; and on the 19th embarked 
at Salem with Mrs. Judson and Mr. and Mrs. Newell, on 
the brig Caravan, Captain Heard, bound for Calcutta. 



After the shores of America had faded from their eyes, 
almost four months elapsed before Mr. Judson and his mis- 
sionary associates caught sight of land. They made the 
long trip around the Cape of Good Hope, and at last de- 
scried the towering mountains of Golconda. Now that the 
Suez Canal has been opened, and a railroad track laid across 
our continent, the way to India is much shorter. The modern 
missionary goes either through the Mediterranean Sea or 
by the way of San Francisco and Yokohama, the voyage 
consuming only about two months. 

While taking the long voyage from America to India, 
Mr. Judson changed his denominational latitude and longi- 
tude as well. He was a Congregational minister; his par- 
ents were Congregationalists ; and he had been sent out by 
a Congregational Board. All his sympathies and affections 
were bound up with the life of that great denominational 
body. On his way to Burmah, however, he became a Bap- 
tist. His attention was at this time especially drawn to 
the distinctive views of the Baptists by the fact that he was 
now about to found a new Christian society among the 
heathen. When the adult heathen accepted Christ by faith 
and love, he should of course be baptized, and thus formally 
initiated into the Christian Church. But ought the chil- 
dren also to be baptized upon the strength of the parent's 
faith ? This was a practical question. 

Again, Mr. Judson expected to meet in India the emi- 


ncnt English Baptist missionaries, Carey, Marshman, and 
Ward. In the immediate n&ighborhood of these men, he 
proposed to institute a Congregational form of church life, 
and he would, of course, have to explain to the natives 
these denominational differences. His mind was cast in a 
scholarly and argumentative mould. Controversy might 
possibly arise between himself and the Baptist missionaries. 
He thought it best, while he was on the ocean, to arm him- 
self beforehand for the encounter with these formidable 
champions, in order successfully to maintain the Pedo- 
baptist position. 

In the enforced seclusion of a long sea voyage, he had 
plenty of time for thought and study on this important 
subject. The result of his searching investigation was the 
conclusion, reluctantly formed, that he was wrong and that 
the Baptists were right. Of course they held many funda- 
mental doctrines in common with Christians of all other 
evangelical denominations ; but there were two distinctive 
tenets, that faith should always precede baptism, and that 
baptism is immersion. He was convinced that in these 
views they had the Bible on their side. 

It was only after a great struggle that he yielded ; for he 
had to break with all the traditions and associations of his 
ancestry and childhood. He 'pictured to himself the grief 
and disappointment of his Christian friends in America, 
especially of his venerable parents. He saw that he would 
be separated from his fellow-students, the cherished compan- 
ions with whom he had originated this great scheme of 
American Foreign Missions. In their discussions, his wife 
always took the Pedobaptist side. He knew that he and 
she might find themselves without bread in a strange 
heathen land. For who could expect the American Board 
to sustain a Baptist missionary, even if he could, on his 
part, obey their instructions ? He could have little hope 
that the Baptists of America, feeble, scattered, and de- 
spised, would be equal to the great undertaking of support- 


ing an expensive mission in distant India. Ah, what long, 
anxious conversations must lie and his wife have had to- 
gether in their little cabin on the brig Caravan ! 

The question may have arisen in his mind, Are these 
doctrines so important after all ? Can I not cherish them 
in secret, and still remain identified with the religious body 
that I so much love and honor ? No ; because if individual 
faith is the prerequisite of baptism, what scriptural author- 
ity would he have for baptizing the unconscious infant ? 
If baptism is a symbol, then of course the form is all- 
important. If faith must precede baptism, and if immer- 
sion is essential to baptism, then he had never been bap- 
tized at all. He knew that baptism had been expressly 
commanded by our blessed Lord, and that alone was suffi- 
cient to necessitate obedience. Prompt and straightforward 
obedience to Christ was the keynote of his life. His was 
too positive a character to try to effect a compromise be- 
tween conviction and action. He had one of those great 
natures that can not afford to move along with the crowd. 
Traces of this intense inward conflict may be seen in the 
following extracts from Mrs. Judson's letters : 

To a Friend. 

" September 7, 1812. 

" Can you, my dear Nancy, still love me, still desire to hear 
from me, when I tell you I have become a Baptist ? If I 
judge from my own feelings, I answer you will, and that my 
differing from you in those things which do not affect our 
salvation will not diminish your affection for me, or make 
you unconcerned for my welfare. You may, perhaps, think 
this change very sudden, as I have said nothing of it before ; 
but, my dear girl, this alteration hath not been the work of 
an hour, a day, or a month. The subject has been maturely, 
candidly, and, I hope, prayerfully examined for months. 

"An examination of the subject of baptism commenced on 
board the Caravan. As Mr. Judson was continuing the trans- 
lation of the New Testament, which he began in America, he 


had many doubts respecting the meaning of the word baptize. 
This, with the idea of meeting the Baptists at Serampore, 
when he would wish to defend his own sentiments, induced 
a more thorough examination of the foundation of the Pedo- 
baptist system. The more he examined, the more his doubts 
increased ; and, unwilling as he was to admit it, he was afi-aia 
the Baptists were right and he wrong. After we arrived at 
Calcutta, his attention was turned from this subject to the 
concerns of the mission, and the difficulties with Govern- 
ment. But as his mind was still uneasy, he again renewed 
the subject. I felt afraid he would become a Baptist, and 
frequently urged the unhappy consequences if he should. 
But he said his duty compelled him to satisfy his own mind, 
and embrace those sentiments which appeared most concord- 
ant with Scripture. I always took the Pedobaptist side in 
reasoning with him, even after I was as doubtful of the truth 
of their system as he. We left Serampore to reside in Cal- 
cutta a week or two, before the arrival of our brethren ; and 
as we had nothing in particular to occupy our attention, we 
confined it exclusively to this subject. We procured the best 
authors on both sides, compared them with the Scriptures, 
examined and re-examined the sentiments of Baptists and 
Pedobaptists, and were finally compelled, from a conviction 
of truth, to embrace those of the former. Thus, my dear 
Nancy, we are confirmed Baptists, not because we wished to 
be, but because truth compelled us to be. We have endeav- 
ored to count the cost, ^nd be prepared for the many severe 
trials resulting from this change of sentiment. We antici- 
pate the loss of reputation, and of the affection and esteem 
of many of our American friends. But the most trying cir- 
cumstance attending this change, and that which has caused 
most pain, is the separation which must take place between 
us and our dear missionary associates. Although we are 
attached to each other, and should doubtless live very hap- 
pily together, yet the brethren do not think it best we should 
unite in one mission. These things, my dear Nancy, have 
caused us to weep and pour out our hearts in prayer to Him 
whose directions we so much wish and need. We feel that 


we are alone in the world, with no real friend but each other, 
no one on whom we can depend but God." 

Mrs. Judson to her Parents. 
" Isle of France, Port Louis, February 14, 1813. 
" I will now, my dear parents and sisters, give you some 
account of our change of sentiment, relative to the subject of 
baptism. Mr. Judson's doubts commenced on our passage 
from America. While translating the New Testament, in 
which he was engaged, he used frequently to say that the 
Baptists were right in their mode of administering the ordi- 
nance. Knowing he should meet the Baptists at Serampore, 
he felt it important to attend to it more closely, to be able to 
defend his sentiments. After our arrival at Serampore, his 
mind for two or three weeks was so much taken up with 
missionary inquiries and our difficulties with Government, 
as to prevent his attending to the subject of baptism. But 
as we were waiting the arrival of our brethren, and having 
nothing in particular to attend to, he again took up the sub- 
ject. I tried to have him give it up, and rest satisfied in his 
old sentiments, and frequently told him, if he became a Bap- 
tist, I would not. He, however, said he felt it his duty to ex- 
amine closely a subject on which he had so many doubts. 
After we removed to Calcutta, he found in the library in our 
chamber many books on both sides, which he determined to 
read candidly and prayerfully, and to hold fast, or embrace 
the truth, however mortifying, however great the sacrifice. 
I now commenced reading on the subject, with all my 
prejudices on the Pedobaptist side. We had with us Dr. 
Worcester's, Dr. Austin's, Peter Edwards's, and other Pedo- 
baptist writings. But after closely examining the subject 
for several weeks, we were constrained to acknowledge that 
the truth appeared to lie on the Baptists' side. It was ex- 
tremely trying to reflect on the consequences of our becom- 
ing Baptists. We knew it would wound and grieve our dear 
Christian friends in America — that we should lose their ap- 
probation and esteem. We thought it probable the commis- 
sioners would refuse to support us ; and, what was more dis- 


tressing than anything, we knew we must be separated from 
our missionary associates, and go alone to some heathen 
land. These things were very trying to us, and caused our 
hearts to bleed for anguish. We felt we had no home in 
this world, and no friend but each other. Our friends at 
Serampore were extremely surprised when we wrote them a 
letter requesting baptism, as they had known nothing of our 
having had any doubts on the subject. We were baptized 
on the 6th of September, in the Baptist chapel in Calcutta. 
Mr. J. preached a sermon at Calcutta, on this subject, soon 
after we were baptized, which, in compliance with the re- 
quest of a number who heard it, he has been preparing for 
the press. Brother Rice was baptized several weeks after we 
were. It was a very great relief to our minds to have him 
join us, as we expected to be entirely alone in a mission." 

The four missionaries arrived in Calcutta on June 17th, 
and were warmly welcomed by Dr. Carey. 

They were invited to visit the settlement of English Bap- 
tists at Serampore, a town about twelve miles from Calcutta, 
up the Hugh River. Here they awaited the arrival of the 
other group of American missionaries, Mr. and Mrs. Nott, 
and Messrs. Hall and Rice, who had sailed from Philadel- 
phia in the ship Harmony, and who did not arrive until 
August 8th. In a note to the Rev. Dr. Baldwin, an influen- 
tial Baptist minister, of Boston, Mr. Judson discloses his 
change of denominational views : 

" Calcutta, August 31, 1812. 

" Rev. and dear Sir : I write you a line to express my. 
grateful acknowledgments to you for the advantage I have 
derived from your publications on baptism ; particularly 
from your ' Series of Letters'; also to introduce the follow- 
ing copy of a letter which I forwarded last week to the Bap- 
tist missionaries at Serampore, and which you are at liberty 
to use as you think best. 

" I am, sir, with much affection and respect, 
" Your obliged friend and servant, 

"Adoniram Judson, Jr." 


" Calcutta, August 27, 1812. 
"To THE Rev. Messrs. Carey, Marshman,' and Ward. 

" As you have been ignorant of the late exercises of my 
mind on the subject of baptism, the communication which I 
am about to make may occasion you some surprise. 

"It is now about four months since I took the subject into 
serious and prayerful consideration. My inquiries com- 
menced during my passage from America, arid after much 
laborious research and painful trial, which I shall not now 
detail, have issued in entire conviction, that the immersion of a 
professing believer is the only Christian baptisjn. 

"In these exercises I have not been alone. Mrs. Judson 
has been engaged in a similar examination, and has come to 
the same conclusion. Feeling, therefore, that we are in an 
unbaptized state, we wish to profess our faith in Christ by 
being baptized in obedience to His sacred commands. 

"Adoniram Judson, Jr." 

He also sent a letter to the American Board, in which he 
breaks to them the startling news that he is to cease to be 
their missionary : 

" Rev. and dear Sir : My change of sentiments on the sub- 
ject of baptism is considered by my missionary brethren as 
incompatible with my continuing their fellow-laborer in the 
mission which they contemplate on the Island of Madagas- 
car ; and it will, I presume, be considered by the Board of 
Commissioners as equally incompatible with my continuing 
their missionary. The Board will, undoubtedly, feel as un- 
willing to support a Baptist missionary as I feel to comply 
with their instructions, which particularly direct us to bap- 
tize ^credible believers with their households' 

" The dissolution of my connection with the Board of Com- 
missioners, and a separation from my dear missionary breth- 
ren, I consider most distressing consequences of my late 
change of sentiments, and, indeed, the most distressing events 
which have ever befallen me. I have now the prospect before 
me of going alone to some distant island, unconnected with 
any society at present existing, from which I might be fur- 



nished with assistant laborers orpecuniary support. Whether 
the Baptist churches in America will compassionate my situa- 
tion, I know not. I hope, therefore, that while my friends 
condemn what they deem a departure from the truth, they 
will at least pity me and pray for me. 

"With the same sentiments of affection and respect as ever, 
"I am, sir, your friend and servant, 

"Adoniram JuDSON, Jr. 

' Rev. Dr. Worcester, Corresponding Secretary of the American 
Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions." 

At the same time he wrote a second letter to Dr. Bald- 
win, in which he announced his change of views on the sub- 
ject of Baptism, and added : " Should there be formed a 
Baptist Society for the support of a mission in these parts, 
I shall be ready to consider myself their missionary I " 

A letter written at the same time to Rev. Dr. Bolles, of 
Salem, Mass., points in the same direction : 

"Calcutta, September i, 1812. 

"Rev. Sir : I recollect that, during a short interview I had 
with you in Salem, I suggested the formation of a society 
among the Baptists in America for the support of foreign 
missions, in imitation of the exertions of your English breth- 
ren. Little did I then expect to be personally concerned in 
such an attempt. 

"Within a few months, I have experienced an entire change 
of sentiments on the subject of baptism. My doubts con- 
cerning the correctness of my former system of belief com- 
menced during my passage from America to this country ; 
and after many painful trials, which none can know but those 
who are taught to relinquish a system in which they had 
been educated, I settled down in the full persuasion that the 
immersion of a professing believer in Christ is the only 
Christian baptism. 

"Mrs. Judson is united with me in this persuasion. We 
have signified our views and wishes to the Baptist mission- 
aries at Serampore, and expect to be baptized in this city 
next Lord's day. 


"A separation from my missionary brethren, and a dis- 
solution of my connection witli the Board of Commissioners, 
seem to be necessary consequences. The missionaries at 
Serampore are exerted to the utmost of their ability in man- 
aging and supporting their extensive and complicated mis- 

"Under these circumstances I look to you. Alone, in this 
foreign heathen land, I make my appeal to those whom, with 
their permission, I will call my Baptist brethren in the United 

"With the advice of the brethren at Serampore, I am con- 
templating a mission on one of the eastern islands. They 
have lately sent their brother Chater to Ceylon, and their 
brother Robinson to Java. At present, Amboyna seems to 
present the most favorable opening. Fifty thousand souls 
are there perishing without the means of life ; and the sit- 
uation of the island is such that a mission there established 
might, with the blessing of God, be extended to the neigh- 
boring islands in those seas. 

" But should I go thither, it is a most painful reflection 
that I must go alone, and also uncertain of the means of sup- 
port. But I will trust in God. He has frequently enabled 
me to praise His divine goodness, and will never forsake 
those who put their trust in Him. I am, dear sir, 
"Yours, in the Lord Jesus, 

"Adoniram Judson, Jr." 

On September 6th, Mr, and Mrs. Judson were baptized in 
Calcutta by the Rev. Mr. Ward, and, on the first of Novem- 
ber, Mr. Rice, one of his missionary associates, who, though 
sailing on a different vessel, had experienced a similar change 
of sentiment, was also baptized. " Mr. Rice was thought," 
Dr. Carey says, "to be the most obstinate friend of Pedo- 
baptism of any of the missionaries." 

But becoming a Baptist was only the beginning of troubles 
for these missionaries. India was ruled by the East India 
Company, which was opposed to the introduction of mis- 
sionaries, especially of Americans — for England and Amer- 



ica were not at that time on friendly terms. Besides, the 
English feared that the natives of India, finding themselves 
beset by the missionaries of a foreign religion, and their own 
sacred institutions undermined, would rise against the whole 
English race, and a war ensue which would be rendered 
more intense by the spirit of religious fanaticism. The 
Oriental meekly submits to oppression, except when religious 
questions are involved ; it was the greased cartridge which 
brought on the Sepoy rebellion. The English authorities 
feared, as was once stated in the House of Lords, " that 
every missionary would have to be backed by a gun-boat." 
There might arise endless complications, and they deter- 
mined to nip the danger in the bud. 

Mr. an,d Mrs. Judson and Mr. Rice were peremptorily 
ordered to repair from Serampore to Calcutta. When they 
appeared at the Government House they were told that 
they must return at once to America. They asked leave to 
settle in some other part of India, but this was refused. 
They then asked if they could go to the Isle of France 
(Mauritius). This request was granted ; but the only ship 
then setting sail for that port could convey but two 
passengers, and, by common consent, Mr. and Mrs. Newell 
embarked. Mr. and Mrs. Judson and Mr. Rice remained 
behind for another vessel. After two months, they received 
an order to go on board one of the Company's vessels, 
bound for England, and their names were even printed in 
the official list of passengers. But a vessel, named the 
Creole, was just about to sail for the Isle of France. They 
appHed to the Government for a passport. This was refused. 
Then they asked the captain if he would take them with- 
out a passport. He said, good-naturedly, " There was his 
ship ; they could go on board if they pleased." They im- 
mediately embarked under cover of the night. But while 
sailing down the Hugh River from Calcutta to the sea, 
they were overtaken by a Government dispatch. The pilot 
was forbidden to go farther, as there were persons on board 


who had been ordered to England. They were put ashore 
on the bank of the river, and took shelter at a little tavern, 
while the vessel continued her course down the river with- 
out them. 

After three or four days, however, a letter came from 
Calcutta, containing the much-desired passport to sail on 
the Creole. Who procured the passport, has always re- 
mained a mystery. But now they had every reason to sup- 
pose that the vessel had got out to sea. She might, how- 
ever, be anchored at Saugur, seventy miles below. With 
all haste they put their baggage in a boat, and sped down 
the river. They had to row against the tide, but arrived at 
Saugur before the evening of the next day, and had the 
happiness of finding the vessel at anchor. " I never enjoyed," 
says Mrs. Judson, "a sweeter moment in my life, than that 
when I was sure we were in sight of the Creole ! " After a 
voyage of six weeks they arrived in Port Louis, on the Isle 
of France, January 17, 181 3. 

The Isle of France, or Mauritius,* lies in the Indian Ocean, 
480 miles east of Madagascar. It is about 36 miles long 
and 32 wide. It had, only a few years before, been wrested 
from the French by the English. During the wars between 
the French and English it had furnished harborage for the 
French privateers, which, sallying forth from its ports, at- 
tacked the richly-freighted English merchantmen on their 
way from India. 

The Isle of France, the scene of St. Pierre's pathetic tale 
of " Paul and Virginia," was to our missionaries also, who 
took refuge here, a place of sorrow. They learned of a 
death which rivals in pathos the fate of Virginia. Mrs. 
Harriet Newell, the first American martyr to Foreign Mis- 
sions, had only just survived the tempestuous voyage from 
Calcutta, and had been laid in the "heathy ground" of 
Mauritius : one who " for the love of Christ and immortal 
souls, left the bosom of her friends, and found an early 
grave in a land of strangers." She never repented leaving 

* See Map I. 


her native country. When informed by her physician of 
her approaching death, she Hfted up her hands in triumph, 
and exclaimed : " Oh, glorious intelligence ! "* 

What a sense of desolation must have crept over the 
little band of missionaries, now that death had so early 
broken into their ranks ! On February 24th Mr. Newell 
embarked for Ceylon, and on the 15th of March Mr. Rice 
sailed for America, in order to preach a missionary crusade 
among the Baptist churches there ; and thus Mr. and Mrs. 
Judson were left alone. They were obliged to remain about 
four months on the Isle of France ; and while much of their 
time was spent in self-sacrificing labors among the English 
soldiers that formed the garrison of the island, the mission- 
aries still longed to reach their final destination. Mrs. 
Judson writes : " Oh, when will my wanderings terminate? 
When shall I find some little spot that I can call my own?" 
Her mother's ominous words, uttered long ago, were coming 
true. She was, indeed, having her fill of " rambling." They 
had left America nearly fifteen months before, and yet after 
all their journeyings they seemed no nearer a field of labor 
than when they first set out. Their destination was still 
a mirage — an ever-dissolving view. 

They decided to make another descent upon the coast of 
India. On May 7, 1813, they embarked on the ship Countess 
of Harcotirt for Madras, intending to establish a mission on 
Pulo Penang, or Prince of Wales Island, lying in the Straits 
of Malacca. It was a little island, of commodious harbors 
and salubrious climate, which had recently been purchased 
by the English, and the small native population of Malays 
was being rapidly increased by emigration from Hindostan, 
Burmah, Siam, and China. 

On June 4th the Judsons arrived in Madras, where they 
were kindly received by the English missionaries, Mr. and 

* For further particiilars see "Memoir of Mrs. Harriet Newell," by Dr. Leonard 



Mrs. Loveless. But they knew that they could not remain 
long, for they were again under the jurisdiction of the East 
India Company. Their arrival was at once reported to the 
Governor-General, and they feared they would be imme- 
diately transported to England. There was no vessel in the 
harbor bound for Pulo Penang, and the only vessel about to 
sail in that direction was bound for Rangoon, Burmah. 
They dreaded to pass from the protection of the British 
flag into the power of the Burman despot, whose tender 
mercies were cruel. But their only alternative was between 
Rangoon and their own dear native land, and they chose 
the former. 

On June 22d they went on board the " crazy old vessel " 
Georgiamta. After a stormy voyage they reached Rangoon 
July 13th, and took possession of the English Baptist mis- 
sion-house, occupied by a son of Dr. Carey. This young 
man was temporarily absent, and soon afterward resigned 
the mission in their favor, and entered the service of the 
Burmese Government. 

The horrors of the voyage, and the dreariness of their 
arrival in this strange, lawless land, and of their first settle- 
ment in the deserted mission-house at Rangoon, made this 
the most painful experience through which they had ever 
passed. Their only refuge was in Him who has said : 
" Although I have cast them far off among the heathen, 
and although I have scattered them among the countries, 
yet will I be to them as a little sanctuary in the countries 
where they shall come." They were sustained by the same 
faith which, three years before, found beautiful expression 
in the words that Judson wrote to his parents: 

" O the pleasure which a lively Christian must enjoy in 
communion with God ! It is all one whether he is in a city 
or in a desert, among relations or among savage foes, in the 
heat of the Indies or in the ice of Greenland ; his infinite 
Fnend is always at hand. He need not fear want, or sick- 
ness, or pain, for his best Friend does all things well. He 



need not fear death, though he come in the most shocking 
form, for death is only a withdrawing of the veil which con- 
ceals his dearest Friend." 

It is related that the old English missionary, St. Cuth- 
bert, was driven by a snow-storm upon the coast of Fife. 
His companions repined. " The snow closes the road 
along the shore ; the storm bars our way over the sea." 
" But," Cuthbert said, " there is still the way of heaven 
that lies open." 

But Mr. and Mrs. Judson can best describe their first 
taste of life in Burmah. 

Extract /io7n a letter by Mrs. yudso7i to her parents and sisters. 

"Rangoon, July t,o, 1813. 

" We stayed at Madras only a fortnight, when we embarked 
on board a Portuguese vessel for this place. I had procured 
a European woman-servant to go with us, as it was not 
thought prudent to go without one. She went on board 
two days before us, and when we went on board she ap- 
peared in perfect health. We had but just entered the ship 
when she fell on the floor, apparently in a fit. We made 
every possible effort to recover her, but she gasped a few 
times and died. The exertion I made to recover her, to- 
gether with the shock my frame and feelings received at her 
sudden decease, brought me also near the gates of death. 
I indeed thought the time of my departure was at hand, and 
that all my toils and perplexities were ended. I had no 
physician, no medicine, no attendant but Mr. Judson. Added 
to this, we were in a small, dirty vessel, which was kept in 
continual motion by the violence of the wind and sea. Per- 
fect ease and quiet seemed absolutely necessary for my 
recovery ; but these it appeared impossible to obtain. But 
all things are possible with God ; and we were never so 
sensible of His care and protection as at this time. 

" In the midst of our darkness and distress, and when we 
had given up all hope of my recover)^, our captain informed 
us that we were close to the Andaman Islands, and that we 


could escape being driven on them in no way but by going 
through a narrow channel between two of them. We were 
in much danger, but the vessel was almost perfectly still, as 
we were in smooth water as soon as we entered the channel, 
the wind being broken by the islands. Thus I obtained that 
ease and quiet which a few moments before seemed impos- 
sible to obtain. We were three weeks on our passage, and 
when we arrived I was not able to walk, nor had I even left 

my bed for half an hour We felt very gloomy and 

dejected the first night we arrived, in view of our prospects ; 
but we were enabled to lean on God, and to feel that He was 
able to support us under the most discouraging circum- 
stances. The next morning I prepared to go on shore, but 
hardly knew how I should get to Mr. Carey's house, as there 
was no method of conveyance except a horse, which I was 
unable to ride. It was, however, concluded that I should be 
carried in an arm-chair ; consequently, when I landed, one 
was provided, through which were put two bamboos, and 
four of the natives took me on their shoulders. When they 
had carried me a little way into the town, they set me down 
under a shade, when great numbers of the natives gathered 
around, as they had seldom seen an English female. Being 
sick and weak, I held my head down, which induced many 
of the native females to come very near and look under my 
bonnet. At this I looked up and smiled, at which they set 
up a loud laugh. They again took me up to carry, and the 
multitude of natives gave a shout, which much diverted us. 
They next carried me to a place they call the custom-house. 
It was a small open shed, in which were seated on mats 
several natives, who were the custom-house officers. After 
searching Mr. Judson very closely, they asked liberty for a 
native female to search me, to which I readily consented. I 
was then brought to the mission-house, where I have entirely 

recovered my health The country presents a rich, 

beautiful appearance, everywhere covered with vegetation, 
and, if cultivated, would be one of the .finest in the world. 
But the poor natives have no inducement to labor to raise 
anything, as it would probably be taken from them by their 



oppressive rulers. Many of them live on leaves and vege- 
tables that grow spontaneously, and some actually die with 
hunger. Everything is extremely high, therefore many are 
induced to steal whatever comes in their way. There are 
constant robberies and murders committed. Scarcely a 
night passes but houses are broken open and things stolen. 
Yet our trust and confidence are in our heavenly Father, 
who can easily preserve and protect us though a host should 
encamp about us. I think God has taught us by experience 
what it is to trust in Him, and find comfort and peace in 
feeling that He is everywhere present. O for more ardent, 
supreme love to Him, and greater willingness to suffer in 
His cause ! " 

Extract from a letter hy Mr. Judson. 

"After a mournful separation from brother Rice, at the 
Isle of France, in March, 1813, we remained there about two 
months, waiting for a passage to some of the eastern islands, 
not venturing at that time to think a mission to Burmah 
practicable. But there being no prospect of accomplishing 
our wishes directly, we concluded to take passage to Madras, 
and proceed thence as circumstances should direct. We ar- 
rived there in June, and were immediately informed of the 
renewed hostilities of the company's government toward 
missionaries, exhibited in their treatment of the brethren 
both at Serampore and Bombay. We were, of course, re- 
ported to the police, and an account of our arrival forwarded 
to the supreme government in Bengal. It became, there- 
fore, a moral certainty that, as soon as an order could be 
received at Madras, we should be again arrested, and ordered 
to England. Our only safety appeared to consist in escaping 
from Madras before such order should arrive. It may easily 
be conceived with what feelings I inquired the destination of 
vessels in the Madras roads. I found none that would sail 
in season, but one bound to Rangoon. A mission to Ran- 
goon we had been accustomed to regard Avith feelings of 
horror. But it was now brought to a point. We must either 
venture there or be sent to Europe. All other paths were 
shut up ; and thus situated, though dissuaded by all our 


friends at Madras, we commended ourselves to the care of 
God, and embarked on the 2 2d of June. It was a crazy old 
vessel. The captain was the only person on board that could 
speak our language, and we had no other apartment than 
what was made by canvas. Our passage was very tedious. 
Mrs. Judson was taken dangerously ill, and continued so 
until, at one period, I came to experience the awful sensation 
which necessarily resulted from the expectation of an imme- 
diate separation from my beloved wife, the only remaining 
companion of my wanderings. About the same time, the 
captain being unable to make the Nicobar Island, where it 
was intended to take in a cargo of cocoa-nuts, we were driven 
into a dangerous strait, between the Little and Great Anda- 
mans, two savage coasts, where the captain had never been 
before, and where, if we had been cast ashore, we should, 
according to all accounts, have been killed and eaten by the 
natives. But as one evil is sometimes an antidote to another, 
so it happened with us. Our being driven into this danger- 
ous but quiet channel brought immediate relief to the agi- 
tated and exhausted frame of Mrs. Judson, and conduced 
essentially to her recovery. And in the event, we were safely 
conducted over the black rocks which we sometimes saw in 
the gulf below, and on the eastern side of the islands found 
favorable winds, which gently wafted us forward to Rangoon. 
But on arriving here, other trials awaited us. 

"We had never before seen a place where European influ- 
ence had not contributed to smooth and soften the rough 
features of uncultivated nature. The prospect of Rangoon, 
as we approached, was quite disheartening. I went on shore 
just at night, to take a view of the place, and the mission- 
house ; but so dark, and cheerless, and unpromising did all 
things appear, that the evening of that day, after my return 
to the ship, we have marked as the most gloomy and distress- 
ing that we ever passed. Instead of rejoicing, as we ought 
to have done, in having found a heathen land from which we 
were not immediately driven away, such were our weaknesses 
that we felt we had no portion left here below, and found 
consolation only in looking beyond our pilgrimage, which 



we tried to flatter ourselves would be short, to that peaceful 
region where the wicked cease from troubling and the weary- 
are at rest. But if ever we commended ourselves sincerely, 
and without reserve, to the disposal of our heavenly Father, 
it was on this evening. And after some recollection and 
prayer, we experienced something of the presence of Him 
who cleaveth closer than a brother ; something of that peace 
which our Saviour bequeathed to His followers — a legacy 
which we know from this experience endures when the fleet- 
ing pleasures and unsubstantial riches of the world are passed 
away. The next day Mrs. Judson was carried into the town, 
being unable to walk ; and we found a home at the mission- 
house, though Mr. Carey was absent at Ava." 

When the tidings reached America that Mr. and Mrs. 
Judson and Mr. Rice, Congregational missionaries, sent out 
by the American Board, had been immersed at Calcutta, 
the Baptists throughout the whole land were thrilled with 
a glad surprise. God had suddenly placed at the disposal 
of the Baptist denomination three fully-equipped mission- 
aries. They were already in the field, and action must be 
prompt. Several influential ministers in Massachusetts met 
at the house of Dr. Baldwin, in Boston, and organized the 
" Baptist Society for Propagating the Gospel in India and 
other Foreign Parts." They also, as well as the American 
Board, first turned instinctively toward England for counsel 
and help. They proposed to the Baptist Missionary Society 
in London that Mr. Judson should be associated with Messrs. 
Carey, Marshman, and Ward, at Serampore, and that the 
Baptists in England and America should co-operate in the 
work of foreign missions. This, however, did not seem wise 
to the English brethren, and so America was again thrown 
back upon her own resources. 

Mr. Rice, upon his return to this country, travelled every- 
where, telling the thrilling story of the experiences of these 
pioneer missionaries. The greatest enthusiasm was aroused, 
and missionary societies similar to the one in Boston sprang 


up in the Middle and Southern States. In order to secure 
concert of action it seemed best that there should be a gen- 
eral convention, in which all these societies might be repre- 
sented. Accordingly, on the i8th of May, 1814, delegates 
from Baptist churches and missionary societies throughout 
the land convened in the First Baptist church of Philadel- 
phia. These delegates organized a body which was styled 
" The General Missionary Convention of the Baptist De- 
nomination in the United States of America for Foreign 
Missions." The sum of four thousand dollars was put into 
the treasury, contributed by the local societies ; and it was 
thought that possibly an annual income of five thousand 
two hundred and eighty dollars might be secured. It was 
the day of small things. In 1845 the Southern brethren 
withdrew to form a society of their own, called " The South- 
ern Convention." The Northern organization adopted a 
new constitution, and assumed the name of " The American 
Baptist Missionary Union." Its receipts for 1880 were 
about a quarter of a million of dollars. 

Although Mr. Judson's change in denominational attitude 
occasioned considerable irritation at the time, yet good and 
wise men of all religious bodies, viewing his conduct from 
the stand-point of the present, are agreed that it proved a 
blessing to the Christian world at large. It occasioned the 
formation of a second Missionary Society. There came to 
be two great benevolent forces at work, where there was 
only one before. What a history-making epoch that was ! 
The action of those consecrated students at Andover led to 
the formation of the American Board of Commissioners for 
Foreign Missions, and of the American Baptist Missionary 
Union, the one the organ of the Congregationalists, the 
other of the Baptists of America. A watershed was up- 
heaved, from which two beneficent and ever-widening 
streams flowed forth for the healing of the nations. 

Mr. Judson's life also marks the beginning of that won- 
derful growth which has characterized the Baptist denomi- 


nation in this country, for in gathering together and rallying 
for his support the Baptists awoke to self-consciousness. 
They arrived at the epoch, so momentous in the life either 
of a society or of an individual, when the infant passes out 
of a mere sort of vegetable existence into a consciousness 
of his being and power. 

" But as he grows he gathers much, 
And learns the use of '/' and 'Me' 
And finds ' I am not what I see, 
And other than the things I touch,' " 

In the history of a social body, as well as of the human 
infant, the period of self-consciousness is the beginning of 
all real power. In 18 12 the Baptists of America were a 
scattered and feeble folk, and lacked solidarity. There was 
little or no denominational spirit. The summons to the 
foreign field shook them together. A glass of water may 
be slowly reduced in temperature even to a point one or two 
degrees below freezing, and yet remain uncongealed, pro- 
vided it be kept perfectly motionless. If, then, it is slightly 
jarred it will suddenly turn into ice. The Baptist denom- 
ination of America was in just such a state of suspense. It 
needed to be jarred and shaken into solid and enduring 
form. Mr. Judson's words : " Should there be formed a Bap- 
tist society for the support of a mission hi these parts, I should 
be ready to consider myself their missionary" proved to be 
the crystallizing touch. 



Let us now take a look at the country in which Mr. and 
Mrs. Judson at last found themselves. At the present time 
there are two distinct Burmahs : British Burmah and Inde- 
pendent Burmah. But at the time when Mr. and Mrs. Jud- 
son arrived in Rangoon, these two countries formed one 
great Empire, ruled by one monarch, whose throne was at 
Ava. Under successive British invasions the Empire has 
shrunk to two-thirds of its original size. The English have 
appropriated the whole of the seaboard, the fertile lowlands 
forming the richest rice-producing district in the world, and 
the heavy teak forests of Pegu, which yield ship timber un- 
rivalled for its durability. At the time of the arrival of the 
Judsons, Burmah was 1,020 miles long and 600 miles wide. 
It was bounded on the north by Assam and Thibet ; on the 
east by China and Siam ; and on the south and west by the 
Bay of Bengal and the British provinces of India. Its area 
was 280,000 square miles ; so that it was four times as large 
as the whole of New England. 

Burmah is scored by three parallel rivers that flow south- 
ward : the Irrawaddy, Sittang, and the Salwen.* By far the 
largest of these is the Irrawaddy, which is navigable by steam- 
ers to Bhamo, 840 miles from the mouth. The country is 
made up of these three parallel river valleys, and the mount- 
ain chains which flank them. The land in Asia gradually 
slopes from the Himalayas southward toward the Bay of 
Bengal. Starting at the south and moving northward, the 
traveller finds first broad paddy-fields, submerged during a 

♦See Map II. 



part of the year by the network of streams through which 
the Irrawaddy finds its way to the sea ; then he traverses up- 
land plains ; then a rolling country, with ranges of hills ; and 
finally deep forests, high mountains, and the magnificent 
defiles, through which the rivers flow. 

The southern part of Burmah, like Egypt, owes its fertil- 
ity to an annual inundation which is thus described by an 
English of^cer :* 

"With the exception of high knolls standing up here and there, and a 
strip of high ground at the base of the hills, the whole country, fields, 
roads, bridges, is under water from one to twelve feet, or more, in depth. 
Boats are the only means of locomotion for even a few yards. You sail 
across the country, ploughing through the half-submerged long grass, 
piloting a way through the clumps of brushwood and small trees, into 
the streets of large agricultural villages, where the cattle are seen stabled 
high up in the houses, twelve feet from the ground ; the children are 
catching fish with lines through the floor ; the people are going about 
their daily concerns, if it is only to borrow a cheroot from their next-door 
neighbor, in canoes ; in short, ail the miseries and laughable contretemps 
sometimes pictured in the illustrated papers as caused by floods in 
Europe, may be seen — with this difference, that every one is so ac- 
customed to them that they never crSate a thought of surprise." 

The northern part of Burmah abounds in mountain 
streams of exquisite beauty. An eye-witness describes 
them in glowing terms, as follows : f 

" In some places they are seen leaping in cascades over precipices 
from 50 to 100 feet high ; in others, spreading out into deep, quiet lakes. 
In some places they run purling over pebbles of milk-white quartz, or 
grass-green prase, or yellow jasper, or sky-blue slate, or variegated 
porphyry ; in others, they glide like arrows over rounded masses of 
granite, or smooth, angular pieces of green stone. In some places 
nought can be heard but the stunning sounds of 'deep calling unto 
deep '; in others, the mind is led to musing by the quiet murmur of the 
brook, that falls upon the ear like distant music. The traveller's path 
often leads him up the middle of one of these streams, and every turn, 
like that of a kaleidoscope, reveals something new and pleasing to the 

* See Forbes's " British Burmah." 

+ See Mason's " The Natural Productions of Burmah. 


eye. Here a daisy-like flower nods over the margin, as if to look at her 
modest face in the reflecting waters ; there the lotus-leafed, wild arum 
stands knee-deep in water, shaking around with the motion of the stream 
the dew-drops on its peltate bosom like drops of glittering quicksilver. 
Here the fantastic roots of a willow, sprinkled with its woolly capsules, 
come down to the water's edge, or it may be a eugenia tree, with its 
fragrant white corymbs, or a water dillenia, with its brick-red, scaly 
trunk, and green, apple-like fruit, occupies its place; there the long, 
drooping red tassels of the barringtonia hang far over the bank, dropping 
its blossoms on the water, food for numerous members of the carp family 
congregated below." 

Having studied the Geography and the Physical Geography 
of Burmah, we turn to its Natural History. The domestic 
animals are the ox, buffalo, horse, and the goat. The horses 
are small, and are used for riding, never as beasts of burden. 
The dog is not kept as a pet, or for hunting, but, as in other 
Oriental countries, he roams about the cities in a half-wild 
condition, devouring offal, and at last becomes the victim 
of famine or disease. The jungles swarm with wild animals, 
the monkey, elephant, rhinoceros, tiger, leopard, deer, and 
wild-cat. The elephants are, caught, tamed, and used for 
riding. The white elephant, or albino, is especially prized. 
A specimen is always kept at court as the insignia of royalty, 
one of the king's titles being, " Lord of the White Elephant." 
The tiger sometimes steals out of the jungle into a Karen 
village, and carries off a pig or a calf, or even a child. When 
once he has tasted human blood, he is very dangerous. An 
American missionary, a lady, relates that she came once to 
a native village which a tiger had formed the habit of visit- 
ing every night. On each occasion he would carry off some 
domestic animal. The villagers had taken no measures to 
avert the danger. She urged them to try and kill the 
monster. She described how speedily an American village 
would rid itself of such a nuisance. And so they built an 
enormous trap or dead-fall. The trunk of a tree was to fall 
and break the tiger's back. A squealing pig was tied up 
for bait. The following night some English officers arrived. 


They sat up late talking over their adventures, when sud- 
denly a terrific roar pealed through the village. The officers 
rushed out and found an enormous Bengal tiger pinned 
down in the trap. They speared him to death, and his 
beautiful skin was given to the lady as a trophy. 

Even in the towns the dove-cote has to be placed on the 
top of a high pole, the base of which is sheathed with tin, 
in order to prevent the wild-cats from climbing up and de- 
vouring the doves. One of the author's childish reminis- 
cences is seeing in a cage a wild-cat that had been caught 
alive in the belfry of the church at Maulmain. 

Venomous and offensive reptiles and insects abound. 
While you are eating your dinner the lizard may drop from 
the bamboo rafters upon the table. As you step out of 
your door the gleaming forms of chameleons shoot up the 
trunk of your roof-tree and hide themselves in the branches. 
The scorpion, with its painful sting, and the centipede, with 
its poisonous bite, may be found in your garden. The 
children must be warned not to race through the bushes in 
your compound, lest they encounter the hated cobra, whose 
slightest nip is sure and speedy death. The author remem- 
bers his father taking the Burman spear, the only weapon 
which he ever used, and going down into the poultry-yard 
to dispatch a cobra, whose track had first been discovered 
in the dust beneath the house. 

How much discomfort and suffering are caused, even in 
our own land, by rats, mice, snakes, flies, and mosquitoes! 
And the foreign missionary has these same pests, but in a 
more aggravated form. These are larger, more numerous, 
and in addition to them he has to cope with the white ants 
that in armies destroy his furniture, the scorpion, the centi- 
pede, the cobra, the tiger. 

The inhabitants of Burmah next claim our attention. 
The Burmans belong to the Mongolian race, the character- 
istics of which are " long, straight hair ; almost complete 
absence of beard, and hair on the body ; a dark-colored skin, 


varying from a leather-like yellow to a deep brown, or some- 
times tending to red ; and prominent cheek-bones, generally 
accompanied by an oblique setting of the eyes." * 

The Burmans are described by a modern writer f as " of a 
stout, active, well-proportioned form ; of a brown, but never 
of an intensely dark complexion, with black, coarse, and 
abundant hair, and a little more beard than is possessed by 
the Siamese." 

At the time of Mr. and Mrs. Judson's arrival, the popula- 
tion numbered from six to eight millions. This included, 
however, not only Burmans, who are the ruling race, and 
dwell mainly in the larger towns and cities, but also several 
subject races — Shans, Karens, Kakhyens — half-wild people, 
who live in villages scattered through the jungles and along 
the mountain streams. These tribes have different habits, 
and speak a different language from the Burmans. They 
are related to the Burmans somewhat as the North Ameri- 
can Indians are to us, being, perhaps, the original inhabitants 
of the country, and having been subjugated at some remote 
period of the past. It would seem that wave after wave of 
Mongolian conquerors had swept over the country from the 
North, and these tribes are the fragments of wrecked 

Major Yule, in his " Embassy to Ava," gives the following 
graphic description of the mental and moral traits of the 
Burmese : 

" Unlike the generality of the Asiatics, they are not a fawning race. 
They are cheerful, and singularly alive to the ridiculous ; buoyant, elastic, 
soon recovering from personal or domestic disaster. With little feeling 
of patriotism, they are still attached to their homes, greatly so to their 
families. Free from prejudices of caste or creed, they readily fraternize with 
strangers, and at all times frankly yield to the superiority of a European. 
Though ignorant, they are, when no mental exertion is required, inquisi- 
tive, and to a certain extent eager for information ; indifferent to the 
shedding of blood on the part of their rulers, yet not individually cruel ; 
temperate, abstemious, and hardy, but idle, with neither fixedness of pur- 

* Oscar PescheL t Major Yule, in his " Embassy to Ava." 

BURMA IT. 6 1 

pose nor perseverance. Discipline or any continued employment be- 
comes most irksome to them, yet they are not devoid of a certain degree of 
enterprise. Great dabblers in small mercantile ventures, they may be 
called (the women especially) a race of hucksters ; not treacherous or 
habitual pervcrters of the truth, yet credulous and given to monstrous 
exaggerations ; when vested with authority, arrogant and boastful ; if 
unchecked, corrupt, oppressive, and arbitrary; yet distinguished for 
bravery, whilst their chiefs are notorious for cowardice ; indifferent shots, 
and though living in a country abounding in forest, not bold followers of 
field sports." 

But what is the industrial life of the Burmans? The soil 
of Burmah is richly productive of all that is needed for food 
or clothing or shelter or ornament. The chief crops are 
rice, maize or Indian corn, wheat, tobacco, cotton, and 
indigo. It is computed that 80 per cent, of all the rice 
brought from the East to Europe is produced in the rich 
paddy-fields of British Burmah. 

There is an abundance of delicious fruits — the jack-fruit, 
the bread-fruit, oranges, bananas, guavas, pine-apples, and 
the cocoa-nut. After the annual inundation, the subsiding 
rivers leave behind them, in the depressions of the ground, 
ponds well stocked with fish. Beef and mutton the Burman 
learns to forego, as his religion does not allow him to eat 
cattle or sheep unless they die a natural death. His meal of 
rice and curry is sometimes enriched by the addition of 
poultry. The bamboo yields building material for his 
houses, and the teak forest timber for his ships. The min- 
eral resources are large. The earth yields iron, tin, silver, 
gold, sapphires, emeralds, rubies, amber, sulphur, arsenic, 
antimony, coal (both anthracite and bituminous), and petro- 
leum oil, which is used by all classes in little clay lamps. 

And yet at the time of the arrival of our missionaries, and 
even now in Independent Burmah, there is no commerce on 
a large scale. This is shown by the high rate of interest, 25 
per cent., and 60 per cent, when no security is given. The 
very productiveness of his country made the Burman of fifty 
years ago feel independent of foreign nations. He took the 


narrow view that exportation only tended to impoverish- 
ment. The Government rigidly prohibited all important 
exportation except that of the cheap and abundant teak 
timber. Gold and silver and precious stones must not be 
carried out for fear of reducing the country to poverty. If 
in those days an English merchant had carried a large quan- 
tity of silks and calicoes to the royal city, and had exchanged 
them for ;^5,ooo in gold, he could possess and enjoy the 
money there, but he could not, except by bribery, succeed 
in carrying it home. His wealth made him practically an 
exile and a prisoner. The marble could not be exported, 
because it was consecrated to the building of idols and 
pagodas. The cotton and the rice could not be exported, lest 
there should not be enough left for the clothing and food 
of the population. The only commerce worth mentioning 
was with China. The Chinese caravans brought, overland, 
large quantities of raw silk, and received cotton in exchange. 

On account of the low state of commerce, the science of 
navigation was quite unknown to the Burmans. When 
sailors made their little trips, in the dry season, along the 
shore of the Bay of Bengal, they took pains never to pass 
out of sight of land. 

There were no extensive manufactures in Burmah, for 
these required an accumulation of large capital ; and a man 
could never be sure that his wealth would not be wrested 
from him by the Government. And so the chief article of 
manufacture is lacquer-ware, as this requires but little cap- 
ital. Woven strips of bamboo were smeared with mud, and 
baked, and polished, and varnished, and then manufactured 
into beautiful boxes and trays. 

Most of the Burmans, however, are engaged in agricult- 
ural pursuits. They raise rice and catch fish, which they 
pound up into a mass with coarse salt, and so produce their 
favorite relish, ngapee. Immense quantities of rice and 
ngapee are carried up the Irrawaddy in boats, and sold at the 
capital and in the upper provinces of Burmah. 

BURMAH. (i'x^ 

The government of Independent Burmah '"> an absolute 
despotism. The king has supreme power over the Hfe and 
possessions of every subject. He may confiscate property, 
imprison, torture, or execute at his pleasure, — his only re- 
straint being fear of an insurrection. An English writer 
relates that at the sovereign's command one of the highest 
officers of the State was seized by the public executioner, 
and stretched on the ground by the side of the road, under 
a scorching sun, with a heavy weight upon his chest, and 
afterward restored to his high position. There are, indeed, 
two Councils of State, by which the government is adminis- 
tered, but the members of these councils are appointed by 
the king, and may be degraded or executed at his word. 
The late monarch of Burmah saw the evils of this despotic 
system, and, in arranging for the succession, formed a plan 
by which his successor should be subject to limitation by 
his prime ministers. But the new king, Thebaw, a brutal 
and licentious boy of 20, frustrated this benignant purpose. 
He murdered his counsellors, massacred his blood relations, 
and Burmah, that had roused herself for a moment from her 
long nightmare of despotism, sank again into sleep. 

The whole country is divided into provinces, townships, 
districts, and villages. Over each province is a governor, or 
as the Burmese call him, an Eater. Through his underlings 
he taxes every family. His officers receive a share of what 
they can extort, and the rest he divides with the king. In 
this way the whole land is a scene of enormous extortion. 
There are no fixed salaries for Government functionaries. 
The higher officer eats a certain province or district. The 
lower officer lives on fees and perquisites. Courts of law 
are corrupted by bribery. It is customary to torture wit- 
nesses. The criminal is usually executed by decapitation. 
He may, however, be disembowelled*, or thrown to wild 
beasts, or crucified, or have his limbs broken with a bludg- 
eon — if he can not effect his escape by the plentiful use of 


"On the 7th of February, 1817, seven persons found guilty of sacri- 
lege were conveyed to the place of execution near Rangoon, and secured 
in the usual way to the stake. The first of them was fired at four suc- 
cessive times by a marksman without being hit. At every shot there 
was a loud peal of laughter from the spectators. The malefactor was 
taken down, declared to be invulnerable, pardoned, and taken into a 
cotifidential employment by the governor. He had paid a large bribe. 
The second culprit was shot, and tiie remaining five were decapitated."* 

Who can estimate the miseries which the peasantry must 
suffer under such a system of bribery and extortion? It is 
not strange that the late Burman monarch, when he came 
to the throne, uttered the exclamation, '' Great God, I might 
as well be king over a desert ! " 

The religion of Burmah is Buddhism. Here and in 
the Island of Ceylon, this cult exists in its purest form. 
Buddhism originated in India about 500 years before Christ. 
Here it succeeded in supplanting the ancient religion of 
the Hindoos, derived from the Vedas, and called Brahmin- 

India was in former times saturated with Brahminical 
philosophy and Brahminical ceremonial. The people were 
completely priest-ridden. Buddhism was an outgrowth 
from Brahminism, or perhaps rather a recoil from it. It 
was related to it somewhat as Christianity is to Judaism, 
or Protestantism to the Romish Church. For one hundred 
and fifty years Buddhism had a very rapid and vigorous 
growth in India, but soon after the beginning of the Chris- 
tian era it began to decay, and in the eighth and ninth 
centuries A.D., in consequence of a great persecution, Bud- 
dhism was completely extirpated in India. The ancient re- 
ligion, Brahminism, was reinstated, and Gaudama has no 
worshipper in the land of his birth. 

But a prophet is- not without honor save in his own 
country. Buddhism is pervaded by a missionary spirit, and 
has won its way by peaceful persuasion into Ceylon, Bur- 

* See Crawfurd's " Embassy." 


mah, Siam, Thibet, and China. It is, at the present day, 
the religion of more than four hundred millions of human 
beings — about one-third of the population of the globe. 

Having considered the distribution of Buddhism, let us 
contrast it with Brahminism. Buddhism, like Brahminism, 
holds the doctrine of transmigration of souls. The soul 
is at first united with the lowest forms of organic life. By 
successive births it may climb into the bodies of spiders, 
snakes, chameleons, and after long ages may reach the 
human tenement. Then comes the period of probation. 
According to its behavior in the flesh it either rises still 
higher to occupy the glorious forms of demigods and gods, 
or it relapses little by little into its low estate, and again 
takes up its wretched abode in the degraded forms of the 
lower animals. 

" Life runs its rounds of living, climbing' up, 
From mote, and gnat, and worm, reptile and fish, 
Bird and shagged beast, man, demon, deva, God, 
To clod and mote again."* 

" He who is now the most degraded of the demons may one day rule 
the highest of the heavens : He who is at present seated on the most 
honorable of the celestial thrones, may one day writhe amidst all the 
agonies of a place of torment ; and the worm that we crush under our 
feet may in the course of ages become a supreme Buddha."t 

' Eternal process moving on, 

From state to state the spirit walks, 
And these are but the shattered stalks, 
And ruined chrysalis of one. "J 

This belief pervades the every-day thinking of the most 
ignorant Burmese. An English officer writes, that "just 
before the drop fell with a wretched murderer, he himself 
heard him mutter as his last word, " May my next existence 
be a man's, and a long one ! " An old woman, whose grown- 

* " The Light of Asia," by Edwin Arnold. 
+ Hardwick's " Christ and other Masters." 
X Tennyson's " In Memoriam." 



up son had died, thought that she recognized that son's 
voice in the bleating of a neighbor's calf. She threw her 
arms about the animal, and purchasing it, cherished it until 
its death, as the living embodiment of her own child. 

Faith in transmigration accounts for the pious Bud- 
dhist's treatment of the lower animals. The priests strain 
the gnats out of the water they drink. " They do not eat 
after noon, nor drink after dark, for fear of swallowing 
minute insects, and they carry a brush on all occasions, 
with which they carefully sweep every place before they sit 
down, lest they should inadvertently crush any living 
creature." Mr. Huxley tells us that a Hindoo's peace of 
mind was completely destroyed by a microscopist who 
showed him the animals in a drop of water. The Bud- 
dhists often build hospitals for sick brutes. Perhaps this 
deep-seated and hereditary faith in transmigration may ac- 
count for the singular apathy of the natives to the destruc- 
tion of life caused by snakes and tigers. In fact, one of their 
legends represents the founder of their religion as sacrific- 
ing his life-blood to slake the parched thirst of a starving 

Although Brahminism and Buddhism both agree in 
teaching transmigration, they differ widely in their views 
of God, and of the soul. Brahminism is pantheistic ; 
Buddhism atheistic. According to Brahminism matter has 
no real existence. All physical forms are the merest illu- 
sions. The only real existences are souls. These are all 
parts of a great Divine soul, from which they emanate, and 
into which they will at last be reabsorbed, as when a flask 
of water is broken in the ocean. Buddhism denies the ex- 
istence not only of matter, but of the soul and of God. It 
is a system of universal negation. There is no trace in it 
of a Supreme Being. All is mere seeming. Nothing is 
real in past, present, or future. 

Again, Brahminism betrays a deep consciousness of sin. 
It teaches the necessity of doing painful penance and of 


offering animal sacrifices. Buddhism regards sin as cosmical. 
There is no such thing as blame or guilt. There is no medi 
ation or pardon. The Buddhist brings no animal to the 
altar. His worship consists in offering up prayers, and per- 
fumes, and flowers, in memory of the founder of his re- 

Again, Brahminism is aristocratic ; Buddhism democratic. 
Brahminism is the religion of caste. It divides the nation 
into four classes : the priest, the warrior, the tradesman, 
and the serf. Besides these, but lowest of all, are pariahs, or 
outcastes — the offspring of intercourse that violated the law 
of caste. There can be no social mingling of the castes. 
The condition of the serfs is most wretched and humiliating. 
The laws of Menu ordain that their abode must be outside 
the towns, their property must be restricted to dogs and 
asses, their clothes should be those left by the dead, their 
ornaments rusty iron ; they must roam from place to place ; 
no respectable person must hold intercourse with them ; 
they are to aid as public executioners, retaining the clothes 
of the dead. Now Buddhism rejected the system of caste. 
Gaudama taught : " The priest is born of a woman ; so is 
the outcaste. My law is a law of grace for all. My doctrine 
is like the sky. There is room for all without exception, 
men, women, boys, girls, poor and rich." The two beauti- 
ful stories that follow remind us of the spirit and behavior 
of our own blessed Lord. 

Amanda, an eminent disciple of Gaudama, meets an out- 
caste girl, drawing water at a well. He asks for a draught. 
She hesitates, fearing she may contaminate him by her 
touch. He says, " My sister, I do not ask, what is thy 
caste, or thy descent ; I beg for water : if thou canst, give it 
me." It is also related that a poor man filled Gaudama 's 
alms-bowl with a single handful of flowers, while the rich 
could not accomplish it with ten thousand bushels of rice. 

But let us glance at the life of the founder of Buddhism. 
He is called Gaudama, Siddartha, or Buddha. Gaudama 


was the name of his family ; Siddartha his own individual 
name, and Buddha, " the enhghtened one," the surname he 
acquired by his wisdom. He was born about the year 500 
B.C., at Kapihvastu, a few days' journey from Benares, near 
the base of the Himalayas. His father was an Indian prince, 
and ruled over a tribe called the Sakyas. Buddha is de- 
scribed as of a gentle, ardent, pensive, philanthropic nature. 
He was reared in the lap of Oriental luxury, but his earnest 
nature became weary with pleasure. Intimations of the 
wretchedness of the peasantry of India penetrated even the 
palace walls. The winds soughing through the strings of 
the i^iolian harp, seemed to whisper in his ear the miseries 
of mankind. 

" We are the voices of the wandering wind, 
Which moan for rest, and rest can never find ; 
Lo ! as the wind is, so is mortal life, 
A moan, a sigh, a sob, a storm, a strife. 

" O Maya's son ! because we roam the earth. 
Moan we upon these strings ; we make no mirth. 
So many woes we see in many lands. 
So many streaming eyes, and wringing hands."* 

The desire to be a savior takes possession of his breast. 
Four ominous sights contribute to fix his purpose. He 
sees in his pleasure-grounds an old man, broken and de- 
crepit ; again, he meets a man smitten with a malignant 
disease ; again, his eye rests upon a corpse. He learns that 
such are the destinies of himself and of all his fellow-beings. 
At last he sees a mendicant monk passing by with his alms 
bowl. The young prince resolves to leave his father, his 
wealth, his power, his wife, and child, and become a home- 
less wanderer, that he may search out the way of salvation 
for himself and his fellow-men. He first became a Brahmini- 
cal ascetic, and gave himself over to the severest penance 
and self-torture. Afterward he abandoned this altogether, 

* "The Light of .\£ia.' 


and at last, while in profoundcst meditation under the bo- 
tree, he discovers the way of life. He spends his remaining 
days in travelling through India, preaching his gospel, and 
gaining many disciples. He revisits his home at Kapilivastu. 
He lives to be an old man, and at last dies with the words 
on his lips: '' Nothing, nothing is durable ! " The eminent 
French savant, M. Barthelemy St. Hilaire, says : 

" Je n'hesite pas a ajouter, que, sauf le Christ tout seul, 11 n'est point, 
parmi les fondateurs de religion, de figure plus pure ni plus touchante 
que celledu Bouddha. Savie n'a point de tache. Son constant heroism 
^gale sa conviction ; et si la theorie qu'il preconise est fausse, les ex- 
emples personnels qu'il donne sont irreprochables. II est le modele 
achev6 de toutes les vertus qu'il precha ; son abnegation, sa charite, son 
inalterable douceur, ne se dementent point un seul instant ; il abandon ne 
a vingt-neuf ans la cour du roi, son pere, pour se faire religieux et men- 
diant ; il prepare silencieusement sa doctrine par six annees de retraite, 
et de meditation ; il la propage par la seule puissance de la parole et de 
la persuasion, pendant plus d'un demi siecle ; et quand il meurt entre 
les bras de ses disciples, c'est avec la ser^nite d'un sage qui a pratique 
le bien toute sa vie, et qui est assure d'avoir trouve le vrai." * 

But one eagerly inquires, What was the way of salvation 
that Buddha discovered under the bo-tree, and spent half 
a century of his life in preaching? Observe successively 
the point of departure, the goal, and the way. 

Buddha starts out with the idea that misery is the indis- 
pensable accompaniment of existence — sorrow is shadow to 
life. The foundation of his philosopjiy rests in the densest 
pessimism. While we are bound up in this material world, 

* " I do not hesitate to add that, with the exception of the Chrict alone, there is 
among the founders of religions no purer or more affecting figure than that of Buddha. 
His life has no stain. His constant heroism equals his conviction ; and if the theory 
which he extols is false, the personal examples which he gives are irreproachable. He 
is the finished model of all the virtues which he preaches ; his self-denial, his charity, 
his unalterable gentleness do not fail for a single instant ; at twenty-nine years of age 
he leaves the court of the king, his father, in order to become a recluse and a menii- 
cant ; he silently prepares his doctrine during six years of seclusion and meditation ; 
he propagates it for more than half a century by the power of persuasion alone ; and 
■when he dies in the anns of his disciples, it is with the serenity of a sage who haa 
practiced the good all his life and who is assured of having found the true." 


we are a prey to disappointment, disease, old age, death. 
We find ourselves " caught in this common net of death 
and woe, and life which binds to both." There is no way 
out of the vast and monotonous cycle of transmigration ex- 
cept mX.o Nirvana — the blowijtg out — that is, total extinction. 
The highest goal, therefore, to which we can attain is 
utter annihilation. That this is the meaning of Nirvana, or 
N'igban, seems established beyond a doubt. The most emi- 
nent authorities on Buddhism, Barthelemy St. Hilaire, 
Bigandet, Eugene Burnouf, Spence Hardy, and Max 
Miiller, all agree with the view presented by Mr. Judson 
many years ago, that Nirvana or Nigban is nothing less than 
a total extinction of soul and body. It is the final blowing 
out of the soul, as of a lamp ; not its absorption, as when a 
" dew-drop slips into the shining sea." 
It is 

" To perish rather, swallowed up and lost, 

In the wide womb of uncreated night. 

Devoid of sense and motion." 

But in what way is this bliss of annihilation to be reached ? 
Only by a long and arduous struggle. There are four truths 
to be believed, i. There is nothing in life but sorrow. 2. 
The root of sorrow is desire. 3. Desire must be destroyed. 
4. The way to destroy desire is to follow the eightfold path, 
viz., I. Right doctrine. 2. Right purpose. 3. Right dis- 
course. 4. Right behavior. 5. Right purity. 6. Right 
thought. 7. Right solitude. 8. Right rapture. 

But in order to do these eight right things, five com- 
mandments must be kept. i. Not to kill. 2. Not to steal. 
3. Not to commit adultery. 4. Not to lie. 5. Not to get in- 
toxicated. And upon these commandments Gaudama him- 
self gives the following commentary : 

" He who kills as much as a louse or a bug ; he who takes so much as 
a thread that belongs to another ; he who with a wishful thought looks 
at another man's wife ; he who makes a jest of what concerns the ad- 
vantage of another ; he who puts on his tongue as much as the drop 


that would hang upon the point of a blade of grass, of anything bearing 
the sign of intoxicating liquor, has broken the commandments." 

There are four stages to be arrived at in the way of salva- 
tion. I. The believer has a change of heart, and conquers 
lust, pride, and anger. 2. He is set free from ignorance, 
doubt, and wrong belief. 3. He enters the state of universal 
kindliness. 4. He reaches Nirvana. 

In this succession of stages Buddha makes right conduct 
a precedent condition to spiritual knowledge ; and so is in 
striking harmony with a greater than he : " If any man will- 
eth to do His will, he shall know of the doctrine." 

It is clear that the strength of Buddhism lies not in its 
philosoph}?- or theology, but in its code of morals. To its 
system of rightness rigidly practiced by its founder, it owes 
its vitality. If the presentation of a system of morality 
could save, then long since India, Burmah, Ceylon, Siam, 
Thibet, and China ought to have become an earthly para- 
dise. Besides the virtues ordinarily recognized in heathen 
codes, Buddhism teaches meekness and forbearance. The 
pious Buddhist, when struck a violent blow, can meekly 
reflect that it is in consequence of some sin that he has 
committed in a previous state of existence. This is a sys- 
tem that teaches us to love our fellow-men tenderly and 
perseveringly. "As even at the risk of her own life a mother 
watches over her own child, her only child, so let him — the 
Buddhist saint — exert good-will without measure towards 
all beings." It even teaches resignation in sorrow, I 
give the following beautiful story as it is told by T. W. 
Rhys Davids : 

" Buddha is said to have brought back to her right mind a young 
mother whom sorrow had for a time deprived of reason. Her name was 
Kisagotami, She had been married early, as is the custom in the East, 
and had a child when she was still a girl. When the beautiful boy could 
run alone, he died. The young girl, in her love for it, carried the dead 
child clasped in her bosom, and went from house to house of her pitying 
friends, asking them to give her medicine for it. But a Buddhist, think- 
ing, ' She does not understand,' said to her, ' My good girl, I myself have 


no such medicine as you ask for, but I think I know of one who has.' 
' Oh, tell me who that is,' said Kisagotami. ' The Buddha can give you 
medicine ; go to him,' was the answer. 

" She went to Gaudama, and, doing homage to him, said : ' Lord and 
master, do you know any medicine that will be good for my child ? ' 
' Yes, I know of some,' said the teacher. Now it was the custom for 
patients or their friends to provide the herbs which the doctors required ; 
so she asked what herbs he would want. ' I want some mustard seed,' 
he said ; and when the poor girl eagerly promised to bring some of so 
common a drug, he added : ' You must get it from some home where no 
son, or husband, or parent, or slave has died.' ' Very good,' she said ; 
and went to seek for it, still carrying her dead child with her. The peo- 
ple said, 'Here is mustard seed, take it '; but when she asked, ' In my 
friend's house has any son died, or a husband, or a parent, or a slave } ' 
they answer, ' Lady, what is this that you say ? The living.are few, but 
the dead are many.' Then she went to other houses, but one said, ' I 
have lost a son '; another, • We have lost our parents '; another, ' I 
hav^e lost my slave.' At last, not being able to find a single house where 
no one had died, her mind began to clear, and summoningup resolution 
she left the dead body of her child in a forest, and returning to the 
Buddha, paid him homage. He said to her, ' Have you the mustard 
seed ? ' ' My Lord,' she replied, ' I have not ; the people tell me that 
the living are few, but the dead are many.' Then he talked to her on 
that essential part of his system, the impermanency of all things, till her 
doubts were cleared away ; she accepted her lot, became a disciple, and 
entered ' the first path.' " 

But, after all, Buddhism, with its exquisite code of morals, 
has never succeeded in cleansing the Augean stables of the 
human heart. It is a religion without God, or prayer, or 
pardon, or heaven. Its laws lack the authority of a Law- 
giver. Its Nirvana is a cheerless and uninviting prospect. 
It is a system of despair. The spirits are weighed down by 
the vast load of demerits, and haunted by the anticipation 
of endless ages of misery. There is no " pity sitting in the 
clouds." There is no way of forgiveness, no sense of Divine 
presence and sympathy. Under such a system of cold ab- 
stractions, it is not strange that the common people should 
distort the conception of Nirvana into an earthly paradise, 
and fly for refuge even into demon-worship, and other forms 
of Shamanism. 



In Edwin Arnold's beautiful poem this religion has been 
presented in a most burnished and fascinating form, but no 
one whose mind is not filled with misconceptions of Chris- 
tianity, would think for a moment of exchanging the " Light 
of the World " for the '' Light of Asia." * 

\w the Missionary Magazine of 1818 Mrs. Judson writes: 

" Let those who plead the native innocence and purity of 
heathen nations visit Burmah ! The system of religion here 
has no power over the heart or restraint on the passions. 
Though it forbids, on pain of many years' suffering in hell, 
theft and falsehood, yet, I presume to say, there is not a sin- 
gle Burman in the country, who, if he had a good opportu- 
nity, without danger of detection, would hesitate to do either. 
Though the religion inculcates benevolence, tenderness, for- 
giveness of injuries, and love of enemies — though it forbids 
sensuality, love of pleasure, and attachment to worldly ob- 
jects — yet it is destitute of power to produce the former, or 
to subdue the latter, in its votaries. In short, the Burman 
system of religion is like an alabaster image, perfect and 
beautiful in all its parts, but destitute of life. Besides being 
destitute of life, it provides no atonement for sin. Here also 
the Gospel triumphs over this and every other religion in the 

* The reader may be interested to see what weapons Mr. Judson used in assailing 
the hoary system of Buddhism, and is therefore referred to Appendix B. 




Mr. and Mrs. Judson, as has already been stated, ar- 
rived in Rangoon June 13, 1813. For almost a year and a 
half since leaving their native land, they had been seeking 
a home on heathen shores. Having reached Calcutta, they 
had been forced by the oppressive policy of the East India 
Company to take refuge upon the Isle of France. They 
returned again to India and landed at Madras. But they 
were compelled to flee a second time, and having reluctant- 
ly relinquished the strong protection of the British flag, 
had, at last, settled down in Rangoon, the chief seaport of 
the Burman Empire. Their own desires and hopes had 
pointed elsewhere ; and it was " with wandering steps and 
slow " that they had come to this destination. God had 
drawn around them the relentless toils of His providence, 
and had hemmed them in to this one opening. But sub- 
sequent history has proved that the hand which led them 
so strangely and sternly, was the hand that never errs. 
American Christians, in their assault upon Asiatic heathen- 
ism, could never have chosen such a strategic position as 
Rangoon. It is situated near the mouth of the great 
Irrawaddy River, which is thus described by an English 
officer : 

" After draining the great plain of upper Burmah, it enters a narrow 
valley lying between the spurs of the Arracan and Pegu ranges, and ex- 
tending below the city of Prome. Thus the mighty stream rolls on through 



the widening bay, until about ninety miles from the sea, it bifurcates ; 
one branch flows to the westward and forms the Bassein River, while the 
main channel of the lower part of the Delta subdivides and finally enters 
the sea by ten mouths. It is navigable for river steamers for 840 miles 
from the sea, but it is during the rainy season (Monsoon) that it is seen 
in its full grandeur. The stream then rises forty feet above its summer 
level, and flooding the banks presents in some places, as far as the eye 
can reach, a boundless expanse of turbid waters, the main channel ot 
which rushes along with a velocity of five miles an hour." 

The two natural outlets for the commerce of Western 
China are this great river, and the Yang-tse-kiang, which 
takes its rise in Thibet, and following an easterly course of 
nearly three thousand miles, empties itself into the Yellow 
Sea. Along this channel a vast tide of commerce has flowed 
from time immemorial, and depositing upon the river-banks 
its rich sediment of wealth and population, has occasioned 
the growth of Shanghai, Nanking, and other enormous 
cities. But the merchandise of Western and Central Cl;iina 
would find a shorter and easier and cheaper path to the 
sea through the valley of the Irrawaddy, and would long 
ago have pursued that course, had it not been impeded and 
endangered by rude mountain tribes which the Govern- 
ments of Burmah and of China have not as yet been vigor- 
ous enough to reduce to harmlessness. As civilization ad- 
vances, a much larger part of the trade of Central Asia will 
be sure to find its way to the sea through the valley of the 
Irrawaddy. Christianity always enters the heart of a nation 
along the lines of trade ; so that Rangoon, near the mouth 
of the Irrawaddy, where Mr. and Mrs. Judson landed, and 
Bhamo, situated at the head of navigation, 840 miles up 
the river, where the American Baptists have recently planted 
a mission, are two of the most important strategical points 
for the conquest of all Asia.* 

Rangoon is described by an English traveller who passed 
through it about the time of the arrival of the Judsons, as 

* I am indebted for some of these facts to a thoughtful and inspiring article by the 
Rev. A. Bunker, in The Baptist Missionary Magazine, March, 1879. 


"A miserable, dirty town, containing 8,000 or 10,000 inhabitants, the 
houses being built with bamboo and teak planks, with thatched roots — • 
almost without drainage, and intersected by muddy creeks, through 
which the tide flowed at high water. It had altogether a mean, unin- 
viting appearance, but it was the city of government of an extensive 
province ruled over by a viceroy, a woongee of the empire, in high 
favor at the court." 

Some of the first impressions which the country made on 
the Judsons may be learned from their journals and letters. 

Mrs. yudso7i's Journal. 

" September 20. This is the first Sabbath that we have 
united in commemorating the dying love of Christ at His 
table. Though but two in number, we feel the command as 
binding, and the privilege as great, as if there were more, and 
we have indeed found it refreshing to our souls. 

^^ December 11. To-day, for the first time, I have visited 
the wife of the viceroy. I was introduced to her by a French 
lady, who has frequently visited her. When we first arrived 
at the Government house she was not up ; consequently we 
had to wait some time. But the inferior wives of the viceroy 
diverted us much by their curiosity in minutely examining 
everything we had on, and by trying on our gloves, bonnets, 
etc. At last her highness made her appearance, dressed 
richly in the Burman fashion, with a long silver pipe at her 
mouth, smoking. At her appearance, all the other wives took 
their seats at a respectful distance, and sat in a crouching 
posture, without speaking. She received me very politely, 
took me by the hand, seated me upon a mat, and herself by 
me. She excused herself for not coming in sooner, saying 
she was unwell. One of the women brought her a bunch of 
flowers, of which she took several, and ornamented her cap. 
She was very inquisitive whether I had a husband and chil 
dren ; whether I was my husband's first wife — meaning by 
this, whether I was the highest among them, supposing that 
my husband, like the Burmans, had many wives ; and whether 
I intended tarrying long in the country. When the viceroy 
came in, I really trembled, for I never before beheld such a 


savage-looking creature. His long robe and enormous spear 
not a little increased my dread. He spoke to me, however, 
very condescendingly, and asked if I would drink some rum 
or wine. When I arose to go, her highness again took my 
hand, told me she was happy to see me ; that I must come to 
see her every day, for I was like a sister to her. She led me 
to the door, and I made my salaam, and departed. My only 
object in visiting her was, that, if we should get into any dif- 
ficulty with the Burmans, I could have access to her, when 
perhaps it would not be possible for Mr. Judson to get access 
to the viceroy. One can obtain almost any favor from her by 
making a small present. We intend to have as little to do 
with Government people as possible, as our usefulness will 
probably be among the common people. Mr. Judson lately 
visited the viceroy, when he scarcely deigned to look at him, 
as English men are no uncommon sight in this country ; but 
an English female is quite a curiosity." 

Mr. Judso7t to the Rev. Mr. E?!tersoft. 

" Rangoon, January 7, 1S14. 
" It is nearly a year since I wrote to America, my last being 
forwarded by brother Rice. I have had no opportunity of 
conveyance since that time, nor have I any at present. I in- 
tend to send this to England, hoping that on its arrival the 
war may have terminated, or that it may find a conveyance 
in a dispatch vessel. We have been here about six months ; 
have been living in the mission-house, with brother F. Carey's 
family, but expect within a few days to take a house within 
the walls of the town on account of the bands of robbers 
which infest all the country, and which have lately been very 
numerous and daring. Our situation is much more comfort- 
able than we expected it would be in such a country. We 
enjoy good health, and though deprived of all congenial 
Christian society, we are very happy in each other, and think 
we frequently enjoy His presence whose smile can turn the 
darkest night to day, and whose favor is the fountain of all 
happiness. ' Peace I leave with you — my peace I give unto 
you.' There has yet been but very little effected in this 
country to any real missionary purpose. Brother Carey's 


time is greatly occupied in Government matters. The em- 
peror has given him a title, and requires him to reside in the 
capital. He is just now going to Bengal on his majesty's busi- 
ness, and expects, after his return, to reside at Ava. Not a 
single Burman has yet been brought to a knowledge of the 
truth, or even to serious inquiry. In all the affairs of this 
Government, despotism and rapine are the order of the day- 
The present viceroy of this province is a savage man. Life 
and death depend on his nod. He is very large in stature, 
and when he stalks about with his long spear, everybody 
shrinks from before him. I called on him once, but he 
scarcely looked at me, Ann waited on her highness, and 
was much better received. This man is about to be recalled 
to Ava, and it is doubtful whether he will return. During 
the interim we expect all things will be in confusion, and 
this is one reason why we desire to get within the walls of 
the city. 

"My only object at present is to prosecute, in a still, quiet 
manner, the study of the language, trusting that for all the 
future ' God will provide.' We have this consolation, that it 
was the evident dispensation of God which brought us to this 
country ; and still further, that if the world was all before us, 
where to choose our place of rest, we should not desire to 
leave Burmah. Our chief anxiety is that brother Rice may 
not be able to join us again ; but even this we desire to leave 
in His hands who doeth all things well." 

From Mrs. yudso?t to the Rev. Samuel Newell . 

" Rangoon, Afril 23, 1814. 
"My dear Brother Newell : 

" A few days since we received yours of December i8th, the 
only one we have ever received since you left us at Port 
Louis. It brought fresh to my mind a recollection of scenes 
formerly enjoyed in our dear native country. Well do I re- 
member our first interesting conversations on missions and 
on the probable events which awaited us in India. Well do 
I remember the dear parental habitation where you were 
pleased to favor me with your confidence relative to a com- 
panion for life. And well do I remember the time when I 



first carried your message to the mother of our dear Harriet, 
when the excellent woman exclaimed with tears in her eyes, 
* I dare not, I can not speak against it.' Those were happy 
days. Newell and Judson, Harriet and Nancy, then were 
united in the strictest friendship, then anticipated spending 
their lives together in sharing the trials and toils, the pleas- 
ures and enjoyments, of a missionary life. But, alas ! be- 
hold us now ! In the Isle of France, solitary and alone, lies 
all that was once visible of the lovely Harriet. A melancholy 
wanderer on the Isl^ of Ceylon is our brother Newell, and 
the savage, heathen empire of Burmah is destined to be the 
future residence of Judson and Nancy. But is this separa- 
tion to be forever? Shall we four never again enjoy social, 
happy intercourse ? No, my dear brother, our separation is 
of short duration. There is a rest — a peaceful, happy rest, 
where Jesus reigns, where we four soon shall meet to part 
no more. Forgive my gloomy feelings, or rather forgive my 
communicating them to you, whose memory, no doubt, is 
ever ready to furnish more than enough for your peace. 

" As Mr. Judson will not have time to write you by this op- 
portunity, I will endeavor to give you some idea of our situ- 
ation here, and of our plans and prospects. We have found 
the country, as we expected, in a most deplorable state, full 
of darkness, idolatry, and cruelty — full of commotion and 
uncertainty. We daily feel that the existence and perpetuity 
of this mission, still in an infant state, depend in a peculiar 
manner on the interposing hand of Providence ; and from 
this impression alone we are encouraged still to remain. As 
it respects our temporal privations, use has made them 
familiar, and easy to be borne ; they are of short duration, 
and when brought in competition with the worth of immor- 
tal souls, sink into nothing. We have no society, no dear 
Christian friends, and with the exception of two or three sea 
captains, who now and then call on us, we never see a Eu- 
ropean face. But then, we are still happy in each other ; 
still find that'our own hom.e is our best, our dearest friend. 
When we feel a disposition to sigh for the enjoyments of our 
native country, we turn our eyes on the miserable objects 


around. We behold some of them laboring hard for a scanty 
subsistence, oppressed by an avaricious Government, which 
is ever ready to seize what industry had hardly earned ; we 
behold others sick and diseased, daily begging the few 
grains of rice which, when obtained, are scarcely sufficient 
to protract their wretched existence, and with no other habi- 
tation to screen them from the burning sun, or chilly rains, 
than what a small piece of cloth raised on four bamboos un- 
der a tree can afford. While we behold these scenes, we feel 
that we have all the comforts, and, in comparison, even the 
luxuries, of life. We feel that our temporal cup of blessings 
is full, and runneth over. But is our temporal lot so much 
superior to theirs ? Oh, how infinitely superior our spiritual 
blessings ! While they vainly imagine to purchase promo- 
tion in another state of existence by strictly worshipping 
their idols and building pagodas, our hopes of future happi- 
ness are fixed on the Lamb of God who taketh away the sin 
of the world. When we have a realizing sense of these 
things, my dear brother, we forget our native country and 
former enjoyments, feel contented and happy with our lot, 
with but one wish remaining — that of being instrumental in 
leading these Burmans to partake of the same source of 
happiness with ourselves. 

" Respecting our plans, we have at present but one — that 
of applying ourselves closely to the acquirement of the lan- 
guage, and to have as little to do with Government as possi- 
ble. Brother Carey has never yet preached in Burman, but 
has made considerable progress toward the completion of a 
grammar and dictionary, which are a great help to us. At 
present, however, his time is entirely taken up with Govern- 
ment affairs. It is now almost a year since he was ordered 
up to Ava, which time has been wholly occupied in the king's 
business. He has just returned from Bengal, and is now 
making preparations for Ava, where he expects to found a 
new mission station. His family go with him ; consequently 
we shall be alone until the arrival of brother" Rice, who, we 
hope, will arrive in six or seven months. 

" Our progress in the language is slow, as it is peculiarly 


hard of acquisition. We can, however, read, write, and con- 
verse with tolerable ease, and frequently spend whole even- 
ings very pleasantly in conversing with aur Burman friends. 
We have been very fortunate in procuring good teachers, 
Mr. Judson's teacher is a very learned man, was formerly a 
priest, and resided at court. He has a thorough knowledge 
of the grammatical construction of the language, likewise of 
the Pali, the learned language of the Burmans." 

It may be well to consider for a moment the task which 
the young missionary had set before him. What did they 
propose to do, this man of twenty-five and his young wife, 
standing amid the level rice fields on the coast of Lower 
Burmah, with their faces turned landward toward towns 
and cities swarming with idolaters, and hill-tops crowned 
with heathen temples and pagodas? Their purpose was to 
undermine an ancient religion, deeply fixed in the hearts 
and habits of four hundred millions of human beings. They 
did not propose to bring to bear influences by which Chris- 
tianity was to be introduced as a State religion and reluctant 
knees be forced to bow to the Christ. This would have been 
indeed an audacious undertaking. But they sought to work 
out a more searching revolution, nothing less than a change 
of belief and of heart in each individual. The millions of 
Burmans were to be taken one by one — their affections sub- 
dued, and their characters transfigured by the religion of 
Christ. They felt sure that in the mass of people about them, 
there was here and there a man who had been so schooled 
by the providences of God, and so matured by the Divine 
Spirit, that if the stor}^ of the Cross could once be got to him, 
he would immediately accept it and say, "That is just what 
I want." As the sod of moss, brought from the woods 
into the house, often contains within its bosom hidden 
germs, and after a season, in the warmth of the parlor, 
sends forth sweet, unexpected spring flowers, so out of the 
unattractive sod of heathenism, under the genial rays of 
the Holy Spirit, might emerge disciples of Christ, and these 


disciples, organized by baptism into churches, would, by 
the same process of reaching individual souls, little by little 
leaven the whole of the empire. 

But what means did Mr. Judson use in his endeavor to 
bring about this great moral and spiritual revolution ? 
Simply the Gospel of Christ. The sole weapons of his war- 
fare were the old-fashioned truths, the existence of a per- 
sonal and beneficent God, the fatal sinfulness of man, and sal- 
vation by faith in the Son of God, who came to " seek and 
to save that which was lost." No system of truth could be 
devised more diametrically opposed to Buddhism, which 
teaches that there is no God to save, no soul to be saved, 
and no sin to be saved from. He felt sure that if he could 
only plant the seeds of Christian truth in the soil of the 
Burman's heart, then, under the mellowing influence of the 
Holy Spirit, they would germinate and bring forth the fruit 
of meek and pure behavior. As in flushing a drain, a large 
body of pure water is poured through the whole length of 
it, washing out every impurity, so the Gospel of Christ is a 
cleansing tide, which, as it courses through the individual 
heart, or through human society, sweeps away before it all 
the stagnant and loathsome accumulations of sin. 

Mr. Judson did not believe that Christianity should follow 
in the wake of civilization. He did not propose to spend 
his time in teaching the arts and sciences of the Western 
world, in imparting more correct astronomical, geographi- 
cal, and geological conceptions, in order, little by little, to 
prepare the mind of the Burman to accept his religious 
iders. He had implicit confidence in the promise of his 
Master, " Lo, I am with you alway." He believed that 
Christ was with him in the heart of the heathen, unlocking 
the door from the inside. 

Again, he did not say to himself, " It is a hopeless task to 
attempt the conversion of the hoary heads. I will try to 
gather the little children together and establish schools, and 
thus purify the fountains of national life." He had his 


schools, indeed, but they were quite subordinate to the 
work of preaching the Gospel to the adult mind. He reached 
the children through the parents, and not the parents 
through the children. He believed that the grown-up Bur- 
mans, rather than their children, should bear the brunt of 
persecution involved in embracing a new religion. He fol- 
lowed the method of the Acts of the Apostles. A preacher 
of the Gospel, he did not allow himself to shrivel into a mere 
school-teacher or a school-book maker. 

There were only two channels through which the truths of 
the Gospel could be conveyed to the conscience of the Bur- 
man — the eyes and the ears. The natives were emphatically 
a reading people. They had their ancient scriptures embody, 
ing the teachings of Gaudama, and the first question asked 
of the propagator of a new religion would be, " Where are 
your sacred books? " So that one way in which Mr. Judson 
communicated the Gospel was by the translation of tracts — 
either succinct and concrete statements of Christian truth, or 
portions of the Bible. These were not scattered about like 
autumn leaves, but were given discriminatingly to individ- 
uals, the gift often being accompanied by a solemn injunc- 
tion to read, followed by a fervent prayer. The following 
letter to the Rev. Dr. Baldwin shows how earnestly he en- 
gaged in this work of imparting Christian truth in a printed 
form : 

" Rangoon, February 10, 1817. 

" Have just heard that a person whom we have some time 
calculated on as a letter-carrier to Bengal is unexpectedly 
going off in the course of an hour. Have, therefore, time 
only to accompany the enclosed tracts with a line or two. 

"We have just begun to circulate these publications, and 
are praying that they may produce some inquiry among the 
natives. And here comes a man, this moment, to talk about 
religion. What shall I do ? I will give him a tract, to keep 
him occupied a few moments while I finish this. * Here, my 
friend, sit down, and read something that will carry you to 


heaven if you believe and receive the glorious Saviour therein 

"We are just entering on a small edition of Matthew, the 
translation of which I lately commenced. But we are in 
great want of men and money. Our hands are full from 
morning till night. I can not, for my life, translate as fast as 
brother Hough will print. He has to do all the hard work 
in the printing-office, without a single assistant, and can not, 
therefore, apply himself to the study of the language, as is 
desirable. As for me, I have not an hour to converse with 
the natives, or go out and make proclamation of the glorious 
Gospel. In regard to money, we have drawn more from 
Bengal than has been remitted from America ; so that now, 
if not for their truly brotherly kindness in honoring our bills 
on credit, we should actually starve. Moreover, an edition 
of five thousand of the New Testament will cost us nearly 
five thousand dollars. And what are five thousand among a 
population of seventeen millions, five millions of whom can 
read ? O that all the members of the Baptist Convention 
could live in Rangoon one month ! Will the Christian world 
ever awake ? Will means ever be used adequate to the neces- 
sities of the heathen world ? O Lord, send help ! Our wait- 
ing eyes are unto Thee ! " 

It is a noteworthy fact that the attention of the first 
serious Burman inquirer was caught by two little writings 
that fell into his hands, a tract and a catechism. The Brit- 
ish and Foreign Bible Society publish a statement, made 
upon the authority of Sir Bartle Frere, that he met " with 
an instance which was carefully investigated, in which all the 
inhabitants of a remote village in the Deccan had abjured 
idolatry and caste, removed from their temples the idols 
which had been worshipped there time out of mind, and 
agreed to profess a form of Christianity which they had de- 
duced for themselves from the careful perusal of a single 
Gospel and a few tracts." And the eminent African mis- 
sionary, Moffat, related that when he was almost perishing 
for want of food, he was succored b)^ an old negro woman 


whose spiritual life had been fed for years from a little copy 
of the Dutch New Testament. She drew it from her bosom 
and said : '" This is the fountain whence I drink ; this is the 
oil which makes my lamp to burn." 

But far more important than the work of translating and 
distributing tracts, catechisms, and portions of the Scripture, 
was the oral preaching of the Gospel. For this Mr, Judson 
had rare aptitude, and in it he won his most signal triumphs. 
While engaged in the necessary work of translation, he was 
always pining for the opportunity of imparting the message 
of salvation with the living voice. In a letter to Dr. Bolles 
he says : " I long to see the whole New Testament complete, 
for I will then be able to devote all my time to preaching 
the Gospel from day to day ; and often now the latter ap- 
pears to be the more pressing duty. May the Spirit of the 
Lord be poured out ! " When eye meets eye, and the mind 
of an objector is confronted by a living, loving personality, 
he receives a deeper impression of religious truth than he 
can ever get even from the leisurely perusal of a printed 
book. The press can never supplant the pulpit. The truth, 
which, when pressed home by the earnest voice of the 
speaker, carries with it conviction, and arouses the con- 
science, and kindles the affections, is often weak and thin 
when presented on the printed page. 

But Mr. Judson's preaching was unlike that of the orator 
about whom a great throng gathers. After the little chapel, 
or zayat, was built, public worship indeed was held, the 
audience consisting of perhaps a hundred persons. But 
most of the preaching at first was to the individual. It was 
a process of spiritual button-holing. A single person would 
enter into a discussion with the missionary, while a few 
others would draw near to witness the encounter. It was 
in these hand-to-hand frays that Mr. Judson often extorted 
exclamations of admiration from the bystanders, as with 
his keen logic he hewed his opponent to pieces as Samuel 
did Aeae. 


His preaching was concrete. He did not deal in vague 
abstractions. Truth assumed, in his mind, statuesque forms. 
His conversation abounded in images and illustrations ; and 
in this respect he resembled the great Teacher, whom Eng- 
land's^ poet laureate thus describes : 

" For wisdom dealt with mortal powers. 
Where truth in closest words shall fail, 
When truth embodied in a tale 
Shall enter in at lowly doors." 

Mrs. E. C. Judson contributes a reminiscence of his vivid 
method of imparting religious truth : 

"A native Christian woman told me that she was at one 
time about to engage in something which Dr. Judson con- 
sidered not conducive to her spiritual good. He sent for her, 
and remonstrated ; but she would not give up her darling 
project. 'Look here!' said he, eagerly snatching a ruler 
from the table, and tracing not a very straight line on the 
floor, ' here is where you have been walking. You have made 
a crooked track, to be sure — out of the path half of the 
time ; but then you have kept near it, and not taken to new 
roads, and you have — not so much as you might have done, 
mind, but still to a certain extent — grown in grace ; and 
now, with all this growth upon your heart and head, in the 
maturity of your years, with ripened understanding and an 
every-day deepening sense of the goodness of God, here,' 
bringing down the ruler with emphasis to indicate a cer- 
tain position, ^ here you stajid. You know where this path 
leads. You know what is before you — some struggles, some 
sorrows, and finally eternal life and a crown of glory. But 
to the left branches off another very pleasant road, and 
along the air floats, rather temptingly, a pretty bubble. You 
do not mean to leave the path you have walked in fifteen 
years — fifteen long years — altogether ; you only want to step 
aside and catch the bubble, and think you will come back 
again ; but you never will. Woman, think ! Dare you de- 
liberately leave this strait and narrow path, drawn by the 


Saviour's finger, and go away for one moment into that of 
your enemy ? Will you ? will you ? will you ? ' 

" * I was sobbing so,' said the woman, ' that I could not 
speak a word ; but he knew, as he always did, what I meant ; 
for he knelt down, and prayed that God would preserve me 
in my determination. I have made a great many crooked 
tracks since,' she added, tearfully, * but, whenever I am 
unusually tempted, I see the teacher as he looked that day, 
bending over in his chair, the ruler placed on the floor to 
represent me, his finger pointing along the path of eternal 
life, his eye looking so strangely over his shoulder, and that 
terrible "Will you ?" coming from his lips as though it was 
the voice of God ; and I pray just as Peter did, for I am 
frightened.' " 

Behind his words, when he preached, lay the magnet of a 
great character. He was a man of tender sensibilities and 
of strong affections. There was no mistaking his motives. 
He had come a long distance and endured great hardships 
because he loved the Burmans. Little by little they found 
this out ; and the power of a preacher is in direct ratio with 
Jiis capacity for inspiring confidence and affection. Not the 
truth on the lips, but the truth incarnated in the behavior, 
has weight. One who often heard him preach in Burmese, 
though she was at that time only slightly acquainted with 
the language, writes : 

" He preached with great fervor and earnestness ; but besides this, 
there was a touching simplicity in the matter and language, which it was 
long before I could appreciate. His figures, which I understood sooner, 
were drawn from immediately surrounding objects. Of these, in accord- 
ance with Eastern taste, he made great use. He often remarked that 
Christ was the model preacher, and that He never preached great ser- 

A missionary thus describes the impression which he 
received from hearing Mr. Judson the first time : 

" True, he preached in Burman ; but though I did not know the mean- 
ing of a single sentence he uttered, still my attention was never more 


closely riveted in any sermon I have ever heard. Were I to fix upon any 
characteristic of the preacher which, perhaps more than any other, 
rendered his discourse interesting and impressive, I should say it was 
earnestness of manner. It was impossible for any one to escape the 
conviction that his whole soul was in the work. Every tone, every look, 
every gesture spoke out in most emphatic language to tell us that the 
man was in earnest to make us believe the truths that he uttered. But 
what contributed not a little to the interest of the occasion was the 
appearance of the assembly. Every hearer sat motionless, every eye 
was immovably fixed upon the preacher, and every countenance seemed 
to change with every varied expression of sentiment ; now beaming forth 
joy, as though some joyous news from the other world had just reached 
them, which before had never gladdened their hearts — now depicting a 
feeling of anxiety as though their mortal all, or that of their friends, 
were at stake ; and next, of deep solemnity, as though standing before 
their final judge ! " 

Having considered the stupendous task set before the 
young missionary, and the mctJiods he used, let us look at 
some of the difficulties. His ardent temperament flung 
itself against the hard reef of Burman conservatism. Ori- 
ental slowness to accept a new idea proved a strong obstacle 
at the outset. He writes : 

" The Burmans are a slow, wary, circumspect race ; but 
their pertinacity in maintaining an opinion deliberately 
adopted, will bear, I imagine, due proportion to their tardi- 
ness in adopting it. This trait in their character will render 
missionary operations among them less rapid in the outset, 
but more effective and permanent in the issue." 

Another great difficulty at the beginning was learning 
the language without grammar, or dictionary, or an English- 
speaking teacher. How hard a task this was, may be learned 
from his letters. 

To the Rev. Dr. Bolles. 

" Rangoon, January i6, iSi6. 

"Yours of March, 1815, I lately received, and read with real 

satisfaction. Neither brother Rice nor any of the others you 

mention have yet been heard of in these parts. May they 

not be far distant. Whenever they shall arrive, I hope to be 


of some real service to them in their preparatory studies, and 
to be able to give them, in a short time, information on many 
points which it has cost me months to acquire. I just now 
begin to see my way forward in this language, and hope that 
two or three years more will make it somewhat familiar ; but 
I have met with difficulties that I had no idea of before I 
entered on the work. For a European or American to ac- 
quire a living Oriental language, root and branch, and make it 
his own, is quite a different thing from his acquiring a cog- 
nate language of the West, or any of the dead languages, as 
they are studied in the schools. One circumstance may serve 
to illustrate this. I once had occasion to devote about two 
months to the study of the French. I have now been above 
two years engaged on the Burman ; but if I were to choose 
between a Burman and French book to be examined in, with- 
out previous study, I should, without the least hesitation, 
choose the French. When we take up a Western language, 
the similarity of the characters, in very many terms, in many 
modes of expression, and in the general structure of sen- 
tences, its being in fair print (a circumstance we hardly 
think of), and the assistance of grammars, dictionaries, and 
instructors, render the work comparatively easy. But when 
we take up a language spoken by a people on the other side 
of the earth, whose very thoughts run in channels diverse 
from ours, and whose modes of expression are consequently 
all new and uncouth ; when we find the letters and words 
all totally destitute of the least resemblance to any language 
we had ever met with, and these words not fairly divided 
and distinguished, as in Western writing, by breaks, and 
points, and capitals, but run together in one continuous line, 
a sentence or paragraph seeming to the eye but one long 
word ; when, instead of clear characters on paper, we find 
only obscure scratches on dried palm leaves strung together 
and called a book ; when we have no dictionary, and no in- 
terpreter to explain a single word, and must get something 
of the language before we can avail ourselves of the assist- 
ance of a native teacher, — 

* Hoc opus, hie labor est.' 


" I had hoped, before I came here, that it would not be my 
lot to have to go on alone, without any guide in an unex- 
plored path, especially as missionaries had been here before. 
But Mr. Chater had left the country, and Mr. Carey was 
with me but very little, before he left the mission and the 
missionary work altogether. 

" I long to write something more interesting and encour- 
aging to the friends of the mission ; but it must not yet be 
expected. It unavoidably takes several years to acquire such 
a language, in order to converse and write intelligibly on the 
great truths of the Gospel. Dr. Carey once told me, that 
after he had been some years in Bengal, and thought he was 
doing very well in conversing and preaching to the natives, 
they (as he was afterward convinced) knew not what he was 
about. A young missionary who expects to pick up the lan- 
guage in a year or two wilj probably find that he has not 
counted the cost. If he should be so fortunate as to find a 
good interpreter, he may be useful by that means. But he 
will find, especially if he is in a new place, where the way is 
not prepared, and no previous ideas communicated, that to 
qualify himself to communicate divine truth intelligibly by 
his own voice or pen, is not the work of a year. However, 
notwithstanding my present incompetency, I am beginning 
to translate the New Testament, being extremely anxious to 
get some parts of Scripture, at least, into an intelligible 
shape, if for no other purpose than to read, as occasion offers, 
to the Burmans I meet with. 

"My paper allows me to add nothing more but to beg 
your prayers, that while I am much occupied in words and 
phrases, and destitute of those Gospel privileges you so rich- 
ly enjoy, in the midst of your dear church and people, I may 
not lose the life of religion in my soul." 

To the Rev. Dr. Staughton. 

" I am sometimes a little dispirited, when I reflect that, for 
two or three years past, I have been drilling at A, B, C, and 
grammar. But I consider again that the gift of tongues is 
not granted in these times ; that some one must acquire this 


language by dint of application ; must translate the Script- 
ures, and must preach the Gospel to the people in their own 
tongue, or how can they be saved ? My views of the mis- 
sionary object are, indeed, different from what they were, 
when I was first set on fire by Buchanan's * Star in the East,' 
six years ago. But it does not always happen that a closer 
acquaintance with an object diminishes our attachment and 
preference. We sometimes discover beauties, as well as de- 
formities, which were overlooked on a superficial view ; when 
some attractions lose their force, others more permanent are 
exerted ; and when the glitter in which novelty invested the 
object has passed away, more substantial excellencies have 
room to disclose their influence ; and so it has been with me, 
I hope, in regard to the work of missions." 

The following extract from the Calcutta Review of De- 
cember, 1850, will show how completely he mastered this 
difficult language : 

" Let our readers dwell for a moment upon the difficulty, in their own 
powerful Saxon tongue, of discoursing upon free will, predestination, and 
many other such .subjects, and then endeavor to realize to themselves 
how infinitely more difficult the attempt must be in a language of mono- 
syllabic formation and structure ; its very polysyllables being the rough- 
est possible mosaic of monosyllables, and the genius and construction of 
the tongue such, that even the simple language of the Gospels — the sen- 
tences of which are in general so remarkably plain and free from compli- 
cation — is beyond its flexibility, the simplest sentences in the Gospels of 
Mark or John having to be chopped up and decomposed, in order to 
adapt them to this peculiar language. Let our readers imagine, if they 
can, the wonderful command requisite of so awkward an instrument, in 
order to be enabled to answer an Oo Yan — ' How are sin and eternal 
misery reconcilable with the character of an infinitely holy, wise, and 
powerful God ? ' or to meet the subtleties of a Moung Shwa-gnong, ar- 
guing on his fundamental doctrine, that divine wisdom, not concentrated 
in any existing spirit, or embodied in any form, but diffused throughout 
the universe, and paVtaken in different degrees by various intelligences, 
and in a very high degree by the Buddhs, is the true and only God. Yet 
so completely was Judson master of this very difficult tongue, and of the 
modes of thought of its people, that he could, by his replies and argu- 
ments, impart to an Oo Yan intense satisfaction, and a joy which exhib 


ited itself by the ebullitions natural to a susceptible temperament ; and. 
in the end, could force a subtle Moung Shwa-gnong to yield to the skill 
of a foreign disputant." 

But the chief hindrance to preaching the Gospel to the 
Burmans was the danger of persecution. Mr. Judson found 
himself in the dominions of a monarch upon whose slightest 
nod depended the life of each subject. Every convert knew 
that in adopting this new religion he was encountering the 
risk of confiscation of property, imprisonment, torture, or 
death in its most shocking form. 

But in spite of these great difficulties, and even in the 
face of the fact that many of his brethren and sisters in his 
own, distant, native land regarded the undertaking as hope- 
less, and looked upon him as an obstinate and chimerical 
fanatic, he never for a moment lost hope. He felt as sure 
that Burmah would be converted to Christ as that it existed. 
He was buoyed up by the same faith that caused him to 
answer many years after, when he was asked whether he 
thought the prospects bright for the speedy conversion of 
the heathen, " As bright as the promises of God." And in 
the darkest period of the history of our missions, he sounded 
the bugle-call, which will inspire the heart of the Christian 
missionary until that day when " The kingdoms of this 
world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His 

To the Rev. Luther Rice. 

" Rangoon, August 3, 1816. 

" I have completed a grammar of the Burman language, 
which I hope will be useful to you ; also a tract, which I 
hope to get printed as soon as Mr. Hough arrives. 

" If any ask what success I meet with among the natives, 
tell them to look at Otaheite, where the missionaries labored 
nearly twenty years, and, not meeting with the slightest suc- 
cess, began to be neglected by all the Christian world, and 
the very name of Otaheite began to be a shame to the cause 
of missions ; and now the blessing begins to come. Tell 
them to look at Bengal also, where Dr. Thomas had been 


laboring seventeen years (that is, from 1783 to 1800) before 
the first convert, Krishna, was baptized. When a few con- 
verts are once made, things move on ; but it requires a 
much longer time than I have been here to make a first im- 
pression on a heathen people. If they ask again, What pros- 
pect of ultimate success is there ? tell them. As much as that 
there is an almighty and faithful God, who will perform His 
promises, and no more. If this does not satisfy them, beg 
them to let me stay and try it, and to let you come, and to 
give us our bread j or, if they are unwilling to risk their bread 
on such a forlorn hope as has nothing but the Word of God 
to sustain it, beg of them, at least, not to prevent others from 
giving us bread ; and, if we live some twenty or thirty years, 
they may hear from us again. 

" This climate is good — better than in any other part of 
the East. But it is a most filthy, wretched place. Mission- 
aries must not calculate on the least comfort, but what they 
find in one another and their work. However, if a ship was 
lying in the river, ready to convey me to any part of the 
world I should choose, and that, too, with the entire appro- 
bation of all my Christian friends, I would prefer dying to 
embarking. This is an immense field, and, since the Seram- 
pore missionaries have left it, it is wholly thrown on the 
hands of the American Baptists. If we desert it, the blood 
of the Burmans will be required of us." 

Upon arriving in Rangoon, of course there Avas nothing 
for Mr. and Mrs. Judson to do but to learn the Burmese 

"As it respects ourselves," Mrs. Judson writes, "we are 
busily employed all day long. I can assure you that we find 
much pleasure in our employment. Could you look into a 
large, open room, which we call a veranda, you would see 
Mr. Judson bent over his table, covered with Burman books, 
with his teacher at his side, a venerable-looking man in his 
sixtieth year, with a cloth wrapped round his middle, and a 
handkerchief round his head. They talk and chatter all day 
long, with hardly any cessation. 


" My mornings are busily employed in giving directions 
to the servants, providing food for the family, etc. At ten 
my teacher comes, vi^hen, were you present, you might see 
me in an inner room, at one side of my study-table, and my 
teacher the other, reading Burman, writing, talking, etc. I 
have many more interruptions than INIr. Judson, as I have the 
entire management of the family. This I took upon myself 
for the sake of Mr. Judson's attending more closely to the 
study of the language ; yet I have found, by a year's ex- 
perience, that it was the most direct way I could have taken 
to acquire the language, as I am frequently obliged to speak 
Burman all day. I can talk and understand others better 
than Mr. Judson, though he knows more about the nature 
and construction of the language." 

After a few months Mr. and Mrs. Jud?on removed from 
the English Baptist mission-house into the city proper. 
The mission-house which they had been occupying was situ- 
ated half a mile from Rangoon, near the place of public 
execution, where the refuse of the city streets was thrown, 
and not far from the place where the dead were buried. 
While outside the city walls, the missionaries were exposed 
to robbers and to wild beasts. It was thought best, there- 
fore, to move into the city itself, especially as in this way 
they would be brought into closer contact with the people. 

After they had been in Rangoon about a year and a half, 
Mrs. Judson's health began to break down under the effects 
of the climate. They had no physician to consult, and her 
symptoms proving dangerous, she was obliged to sail to 
Madras to secure both medical advice and the recuperation 
of a sea voyage. She set sail on January 25, 181 5, and after 
an absence of nearly three months, returned with her health 
much improved. This first experience of long separation 
was ver>' painful. Mr. Judson writes : 

'' There is not an individual in the country that I can pray 
with, and not a single soul wuth whom I can have the least 
religious communion. I keep myself as busy as possible all 


day long, from sunrise till late in the evening, in reading Bur 
man, and conversing with the natives. I have been here a 
year and a half, and so extremely difficult is the language — 
perhaps the most difficult to a foreigner of any on the face of 
the earth next to the Chinese — that I find myself very inade- 
quate to communicate divine truth intelligibly. I have, in 
some instances, been so happy as to secure the attention, and 
in some degree to interest the feelings, of those who heard 
me ; but I am not acquainted with a single instance in which 
any permanent impression has been produced. No Burman 
has, I believe, ever felt the grace of God ; and what can a 
solitary, feeble individual or two expect to be the means of 
effecting in such a land as this, amid the triumphs of Satan, 
the darkness of death ? The Lord is all-powerful, wise, and 
good ; and this consideration alone always affords me unfail- 
ing consolation and support." 

In a letter to her parents, sisters, and brother, Mrs. Judson 
gave the following description of the voyage to Madras and 
her return to Rangoon : 

"I embarked for Madras to procure medical assistance, 
and hoping a change of air would conduce to the restoration 
of my health. I was obliged to leave Mr. Judson here alone, 
without a single associate to animate him in his arduous 
work. We did not think it his duty for him to leave the mis- 
sion if I could possibly go alone. But though I was sepa- 
rated from him, and felt for the first time in my life that I was 
entirely alone in this wide world, yet I could not but trace 
the kind dealings of God in inclining every one with whom I 
had any concern to favor and assist me in my way. The 
viceroy gave me an order to take a woman with me, free 
from expense, a thing which is generally attended with great 
difficulty, owing to the Burman law which forbids any female 
to leave the country. We went to him ourselves with a small 
present, which is customary when a favor is asked. On his 
seeing it, he inquired if we had any business ; and on Mr. 
Judson's presenting the petition, he immediately commanded 
his writer to give us an official order, without causing us any 


expense whatever. The captain with whom I went refused 
any pay for my passage, though he provided every necessary 
for one in ill health. I stayed at Madras six weeks, and re- 
sided at Mr. Loveless' house, where I received every atten- 
tion. When about to leave Madras, I sent the physician 
under whose care I had been, seventy rupees, which he im- 
mediately returned, saying he was happy if he had been 
serviceable to me. After an absence of three months I safely 
arrived at Rangoon, where I found Mr. Judson well, and 
laboring hard, though entirely alone. My health continued 
to mend, and on the nth of September I was made the happy 
mother of a little son. I had no physician or assistant what- 
ever excepting Mr. Judson. Since the birth of our little son 
my health has been much better than for two years before. 
I feel now almost in a new state of existence. Our hands 
are full, and though our prospects in regard to the immediate 
conversion of the Burmans are dark, yet our trust in God is 
strong, and our hopes animating," 

The little boy to whom Mrs. Judson alludes in this letter 
was born September ii, 1815, and named Roger Williams, 
but on May 4, 18 16, he closed his brief life on earth, at the 
age of seven months and twenty-three days. 

In a letter dated Rangoon, May 7, 1816, Mr. Judson con- 
veys the sad intelligence to the Rev. Mr. Lawson, missionary 
at Serampore : 

*' Our little comfort, our dear little Roger, has become in- 
sensible to our parental attentions and fond caresses ; the 
light of his mild blue eyes is quenched, his sweet face has 
become cold to our lips, and his little mind, which, to a 
parent's discernment at least, discovered peculiar sensibility 
and peculiar sweetness of disposition, has deserted its infan- 
tile tenement and fled — oh, where ? Into what strange scenes 
is it introduced ? Who supports and guides its trembling 
steps across the dark valley? There a parent's aid could not 
be extended. But we hope it had a more affectionate and 
abler guide. We hope that Jesus has repaired the ruins of 



the fall in regard to all little children. And who but thinks 
their departed children sweet and lovely beyond compare? 
Perhaps I am a novice in affliction. Had I lost a wife, I 
might not thus lament for a little child eight months old. 
Yet nothing but such a scene of bereavement and anguish as 
we have passed through can teach us to pity others in like 
circumstances. Nothing but experience can teach us what 
feelings agonize the soul of a parent when he puts his face 
to that of his dear, his only child, to ascertain whether there 
may not be one breath more ; and when satisfied of the truth, 
when hope expires with life, he tries to raise the bursting 
aspiration: O Lord, receive the spirit ! 

"Our little Roger died last Saturday morning. We looked 
at him through the day, and on the approach of night we 
laid him in the grave. This is the fourth day, and we just 
begin to think, What can we do for the heathen ? But yet it 
seems hard to forget little Roger so soon, to force off our 
thoughts from the attractive, painful subject, and to return 
to our usual employments. O may we not suffer in vain ! 
May this bereavement be sanctified to our souls ! and for 
this I hope we have your prayers. 

" How is Mrs. Lawson, and your little ones ? We had only 
one. Might not this have been spared ? It was almost all 
our comfort and our amusement in this dreary place. But, 
* the Lord gave,' etc." 

At this same period Mrs. Judson thus opened her sorrow- 
ful heart to a lady in Beverly, Mass. : 

" Rangoox, May lo, iSi6. 

"The sun of another holy Sabbath has arisen upon us, and 
though no chime of bells has called us to the house of God, 
yet we, two in number, have bowed the knee to our Father 
in heaven, have invoked His holy name, have offered Him 
our feeble praise, have meditated on His Sacred Word, and 
commemorated the dying love of a Saviour to a perishing 
world. Inestimable privileges ! Not denied even in a land 
where the Prince of Darkness reigns ! 

" Since worship I have stolen away to a much-loved spot, 


where I love to sit and pay the tribute of affection to my 
lost darling child. It is a little enclosure of mango-trees, in 
the centre of which is erected a small bamboo-house on a 
rising spot of ground, which looks down on the new-made 
grave of an infant boy. Here I now sit ; and though all 
nature around wears a most romantic, delightful appearance, 
yet my heart is sad, and my tears frequently stop my pen. 
You, my dear Mrs. Lovett, who are a mother, may guess my 
feelings ; but if you have never lost a first-born, an only son, 
you can not know my pain. Had you even buried your little 
boy, you are in a Christian country, surrounded by friends 
and relatives who could soothe your anguish and direct your 
attention to other objects. But behold us solitary and alone, 
with this one single source of recreation ! Yet even this is 
denied us ; this must be removed, to show us that we need 
no other source of enjoyment but God himself ! Do not 
think, though I thus write, that I repine at the dealings of 
Providence, or would wish them to be otherwise than they 
are. No ; ' though He slay me, I will trust in Him,' is the 
language I would adopt. Though I say with the prophet, 
' Behold and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow,' 
yet I would also say with him, * It is of the Lord's mercies 
that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail 

While engaged in the hard task of learning the Burman 
language, Mr. Judson caught eagerly at every opportunity 
of imparting Christian truth. We give his record of a con- 
versation with his teacher : 

^^ September 30, 1815. Had the following conversation with 
my teacher, as nearly as I can recollect it. This man has 
been with me about three months, and is the most sensible, 
learned, and candid man that I have ever found among the 
Burmans. He is forty-seven years of age, and his name is 

Oo Oungmen. I began by saying, Mr. J is dead. Oo. I 

have heard so. J. His soul is lost, I think. Oo. Why so ? 
J. He was not a disciple of Christ. Oo. How do you know.-' 



that ? You could not see his soul. J. How do you know 
whether the root of that mango-tree is good ? You can not 
see it ; but you can judge by the fruit on its branches. Thus 
I know that Mr. J. was not a disciple of Christ, because his 
words and actions were not such as indicate a disciple. Oo. 
And so all who are not disciples of Christ are lost ? J. Yes, 
all, whether Burmans or foreigners. Oo. This is hard. J. 
Yes, it is hard indeed ; otherwise I should not have come all 
this way, and left parents and all, to tell you of Christ. He 
seemed to feel the force of this, and after stopping a little he 
said. How is it that the disciples of Christ are so fortunate 
above all men ? J. Are not all men sinners, and deserving 
of punishment in a future state ? Oo. Yes, all must suffer in 
some future state for the sins they commit. The punishment 
follows the crime as surely as the wheel of the cart follows 
the footsteps of the ox. J. Now, according to the Burman 
system, there is no escape. According to the Christian sys- 
tem, there is. Jesus Christ has died in the place of sinners — 
has borne their sins ; and now those who believe on Him, and 
become His disciples, are released from the punishment they 
deserve. At death, they are received into heaven, and are 
happy forever. Oo. That I will never believe. My mind is 
very stiff on this one point, namely, that all existence involves 
in itself principles of misery and destruction. The whole 
universe is only destruction and reproduction. It therefore 
becomes a wise man to raise his desires above all things that 
exist, and aspire to nigban, the state where there is no 
existence. J. Teacher, there are two evil futurities, and one 
good. A miserable future existence is evil, and annihilation, 
or nigban, is an evil, a fearful evil. A happy future exist- 
ence is alone good. Oo. I admit that is best, if it could be 
perpetual ; but it can not be. Whatever is, is liable to change, 
and misery, and destruction. Nigban is the only permanent 
good, and that good has been attained by Gaudama, the last 
deity. J. If there be no eternal being, you can not account 
for anything. Whence this world, and all that we see ? 
Oo. Fate. J. Fate ! The cause must always be equal to 
the effect. See, I raise this table. See also that ant under it 


Suppose I were invisible, would a wise man say the ant raised 
it ? Now, fate is not even an ant. Fate is a word ; that is 
all. It is not an agent ; not a thing. What is fate ? Oo. 
The fate of creatures is the influence which their good or 
bad deeds have on their future existence. /. If influence be 
exerted, there must be an exerter. If there be a determina- 
tion, there must be a determiner. Oo. No, there is no deter- 
miner. There can not be an eternal being. J. Consider 
this point. It is a main point of true Avisdom. Whenever 
there is an execution of a purpose, there must be an agent. 
Oo. (After a little thought.) I must say that my mind is 
very decided and hard, and unless you tell me something 
more to the purpose, I shall never believe. /. Well, teacher, 
I wish you to believe, not for my profit, but for yours. I 
daily pray the true God to give you light that you may be- 
lieve. Whether you will ever believe in this world, I do not 
know ; but when you die, I know you will believe what I 
now say. You will then appear before the God that you 
now deny. Oo. I don't know that. /. I have heard that one 
Burman, many years ago, embraced the Portuguese religion, 
and that he was your relation. Oo. He was a brother of my 
grandfather, J. At Ava, or here ? Oo. At Ava he became a 
Portuguese ; afterwards went to a ship country with a ship- 
priest, and returned to Ava. J. I have heard he was put to 
death for his religion. Oo. No, he was imprisoned and tor- 
tured by order of the emperor. At last he escaped from 
their hands, fled to Rangoon, and afterwards to Bengal, 
where they say he died. /. Did any of his family join him ? 
Oo. None ; all forsook him ; and he wandered about, de- 
spised and rejected by all. J. Do you think that he was a 
decided Christian, and had got a new mind ? Oo. I think 
so ; for when he was tortured hard, he held out. /. Did he 
ever talk with you about religion ? Oo. Yes. J. Why did 
5'^ou not listen to him ? Oo. I did not listen. /. Did you 
ever know any other Burman that changed his own for a 
foreign religion ? Oo. I have heard that there is one now in 
Rangoon, who became a Portuguese ; but he keeps himself 
concealed, and I have never seen him." 


After almost three years of the closest application to 
study, Mr. Judson was taken ill. He wrote to Dr. Baldwin : 

"I began to enter into my studies with such pleasure and 
spirit, and to make such rapid progress, as encouraged me 
to hope that the time was not far distant when I should be 
able to commence missionary operations. I was going for- 
ward in a course of most valuable Burman reading, and, at 
the same time, had begun to translate one of the Gospels, 
and to write a 'View of the Christian Religion ' in Burman, 
which, in imagination, were already finished and circulating 
among the natives, when, all of a sudden, in the midst of 
the hot season, which in this country is most severe during 
the months of March and April, I was seized with a distress- 
ing weakness and pain in my eyes and head, which put a 
stop to all my delightful pursuits, and reduced me to a piti- 
able state indeed. Since that time, excepting at some inter- 
vals, I have been unable to read, or write, or make any 
exertion whatever. Sometimes I have almost given up the 
hope that I should ever be of any more service ; sometimes 
I have been on the point of trying a short voyage at sea. 
But, thanks be to God, it is now ten days since I have expe- 
rienced a turn of severe pain, though I still feel great weak- 
ness in my head, and, indeed, throughout my whole nervous 
system. I begin now to hope that I shall gradually recover, 
though I fear I never shall be as I formerly was." 

He improved even the hours of his illness by collecting 
what knowledge he had acquired of the language and " put- 
ting it together in the shape of a grammar that it might 
not be wholly lost to others." Fearing that his own life 
might soon come to a close, he determined to blaze the 
trees through this hitherto untrodden wilderness of the 
Burmese language, by preparing a grammar. On July 13, 
1 8 16, exactly three years to a day after his arrival, he com- 
pleted a work with the modest title, " Grammatical Notices 
of the Burman Language." It was printed twenty years 
afterward ; and although it was the result of a study of only 


three years, of one of the most difficult Oriental languages, 
and was written to relieve the tedium of a sick-bed, yet its 
merits were such as to command the following notice in the 
Calaitta Review : 

" He (Dr. Judson) published another work, a grammar of no preten- 
sions, and of very small dimensions, yet a manual which indicated the 
genius of the man, perhaps, more strikingly than anything else, except 
his Bible. He has managed, from a thorough knowledge of the Ian 
guage, to condense into a few short pages (only seventy-six) a most 
complete grammar of this difficult tongue; and, as the student grows in 
knowledge, //art passti, this little volume rises in his estimation; for its 
lucid, comprehensive conciseness becomes more and more manifest. In 
our limited acquaintance with languages, whether of the East or West, 
we have seen no work in any tongue which we should compare with it 
for brevity and completeness ; yet we have, in our day, had to study and 
wade through some long and some would-be short grammars." 

Partially recovering from his illness, Mr. Judson com- 
pleted, on July 30, 1816, his first tract, entitled "A View of 
the Christian Religion, in three parts, Historic, Didactic, and 

The next step was to multiply this tract and speed it on 
its way among the Burmans. A press and Burman types 
had already arrived — a valuable present from the English 
Baptist brethren of Serampore. A missionary printer, the 
Rev. Geo. H. Hough, and his wife, were already on their 
way from America. Mr. Rice was still arousing the Bap- 
tists in the United States to send on reinforcements of 
men and money. 

Mr. Judson wrote again and again appealing for help. 

" We know not the designs of God in regard to this country ; 
but I can not but have raised expectations. It is true we 
may have to labor and wait many years before the blessing 
comes. But we see what God is doing in other heathen 
lands, after trying the faith and sincerity of His servants 

* See Appendix B. Being the first printed statement of Christian truth presented 
to the Burman mind, it has a peculiar interest. 


some fifteen or twenty years. Look at Otaheite, Bengal, 
Africa. And is Burmah to remain a solitary instance of the 
ineflRcacy of prayer, of the forgetfulness of a merciful and 
faithful God ? Is it nothing that an attempt is begun to be 
made ; that, in one instance, the language is considerably 
acquired ; that a tract is ready for publication, which is in- 
telligible and perspicuous, and will give the Burmans their 
first ideas of a Saviour and the way of salvation ; that a press 
and types have now arrived, and a printer is on the way ; 
that a grammar is finished, to facilitate the studies of others, 
and a dictionary of the language is in a very forward state ; 
and that the way is now prepared, as soon as health permits, 
to proceed slowly in the translation of the New Testament ? 
Is it nothing that, just at this time, the monarch of the coun- 
try has taken a violent hate to the priests of his own religion, 
and is endeavoring, with all his power, to extirpate the whole 
order, at the same time professing to be an inquirer after the 
true religion ? Is all this to be set down a mere cipher? It 
is true that we may desire much more. But let us use what 
we have, and God will give us more. However, men and 
money must be forthcoming. Work can not be done with- 
out men, and men can not work without bread ; nor can we 
expect the ravens to feed them in ordinary cases. I do not 
say several hundred missionaries are needed here. This, 
though true, would be idle talk. My request I think modest. 
Five men, allowing two or three to each of the stations, is 
the smallest number that will possibly answer. 

" Permit me to close with a word in behalf of Eastern mis- 
sions. Great Britain and the United States appear to be the 
only countries which can at present take a very active part in 
missionary concerns. The British are fully occupied with 
India, Africa, and the South Sea Islands. East of the British 
possessions in India are Burmah, Siam, several other Indo- 
Chinese nations, the great empire of China, Japan, thence 
north indefinitely, and southward the numerous Malayan 
Isles. With all these countries the British are no more con- 
nected than the Americans. The British are under no greater 


obligations to evangelize them than the Americans. They 
are no nearer the English, in point of transportation, than 
the Americans. And furthermore, throughout all these 
countries the British are suspected and feared ; but not the 

"The idea that the western continent belongs to the 
Americans, and the eastern continent to the British, how- 
ever plausible at first sight, can not bear a moment's ex- 
amination. I apprehend that all the northwestern Indians, 
and the inhabitants of those parts of South America which 
are accessible, will scarcely outnumber the inhabitants of 
this single empire of Burmah. And on what principle can 
the Americans, who are perhaps half as numerous as the 
British, be let off with one-twentieth or one-thirtieth part of 
the work ? But when we apply the case to the Baptists, it 
is still more decisive. There are about five hundred Baptist 
churches in Great Britain, which average one hundred mem- 
bers each. There are two thousand in America, which 
average about the same. Behold Ireland, also, almost as 
destitute as South America. And suppose the British should 
say, This is the proper province of our missionary exertions ; 
let us leave Asia and Africa to the Americans, and ' not send 
our young men to the antipodes.' " 

But while asking for men, he wanted the right kind. 
They must be well qualified. 

To the Rev. Luther Rice. 

" Rangoon, November 14, 1816. 
" In encouraging other young men to come out as mission- 
aries, do use the greatest caution. One wrong-headed, con- 
scientiously-obstinate fellow would ruin us. Humble, quiet, 
persevering men ; men of sound, sterling talents (though, 
perhaps, not brilliant), of decent accomplishments, and some 
natural aptitude to acquire a language ; men of an amiable, 
yielding temper, willing to take the lowest place, to be the 
least of all and the servants of all ; men who enjoy much 
closet religion, who live near to God, and are willing to suffer 
all things for Christ's sake, without being proud of it, these 


are the men, etc. But O, how unlike to this description is 
the writer of it." .... 

Again he wrote : 

" In regard to the education necessary for missionaries, it 
appears to me that whatever of mental improvement, or of 
literary and scientific attainment, is desirable in a minister 
at home, is desirable in a missionary. I think I could illus- 
trate this in a variety of particulars ; but the limits of a let- 
ter do not allow. I feel, however, more and more, the inad- 
equacy and comparative insignificance of all human accom- 
plishments, whether in a minister or a missionary, and the 
unspeakable, overwhelming importance of spiritual graces — 
humility, patience, meekness, love — the habitual enjoyment 
of closet religion, a soul abstracted from this world, and 
much occupied in the contemplation of heavenly glories. 
Here I can not help digressing from the subject to myself. 
You know not, my dear sir, you can not conceive, how ut- 
terly unfit I am for the work in which I am engaged. I am, 
indeed, a worm, and no man. It is a wonder that I am al- 
lowed to live as a missionary among the heathen, and receive 
an undeserved support from the dear people of God — from 
many who are poor in this world, but rich in faith. Yet I 
feel necessity laid on me to remain here, and try to do a lit- 
tle something." 

The reinforcements at last arrived. On October 15, 1816, 
the Rev. Mr. Hough and family landed at Rangoon, and 
the following joint letter was signed by Mr. Judson and 
Mr. Hough to Dr. Staughton, the Corresponding Secretary 
of the missionary society in America, to which these mis- 
sionaries looked for support : 

" Rangoon, November 7, 1816. 

" It is with peculiar satisfaction that we are, at length, 
able to address a letter to the Board, in our joint capacity. 
We had a joyful meeting in this place the 15th ult. Mr, 
Hough has settled in one part of the mission-house ; and we 
are now united, both as a church of Christ and as a mission 
society. Our regulations on the latter point we here submit 


to the Board. It will be evident, at first sight, that these 
regulations have a prospective view, and are framed some- 
what differently from what they would have been had we not 
expected that our society would soon be enlarged. But we 
hope that the time is not far distant when they will receive 
the signature of brother Rice also. Indeed, we hope for more 
than this ; we hope that one or two others will be found to 
accompany Mr. Rice. 

" It is true that one of us remained about three years in 
this place without uttering any Macedonian cries. But we 
apprehend that the time is now come when it is consistent 
with the strictest prudence to lift up our voice and say, Come 
over the ocean and help us. By a residence of three years in 
this country, many doubts, which at first occurred, are re- 
moved ; and many points concerning the practicability of a 
mission, and the prospect of success, are ascertained. We 
can not now enter much into detail ; but we desire to say 
that we consider the mission established in this land. We 
unite in opinion that a wide door is set open for the intro- 
duction of the religion of Jesus into this great empire. We 
have at present no governmental interdict to encounter, and 
no greater obstacles than such as oppose the progress of mis- 
sionaries in every heathen land. It appears to us (and may 
it so appear to our fathers and brethren) that God, in remov- 
ing the English mission from this place, and substituting in 
their stead an American mission, is emphaticall}^ calling on 
the American churches to compassionate the poor Burmans, 
and to send their silver, and their gold, and their young men 
to this eastern part of the world, to the help of the Lord 
against the mighty. 

" It is with great pleasure that we announce the valuable 
present of a press and Burman types, made to us by the Ser- 
ampore brethren. We are now closing in a room for a tem- 
porary printing-office, and hope very soon to issue a Gospel 
tract, which has been in readiness some time, and which is 
intended to give the heathen around us some idea of the way 
of salvation through the Lord Jesus. But we can not move 
one step in the way of printing without money. Though 
favored with the press, in the first instance, gratis, we have 



already expended in paper, freight, and sundries, about four 
hundred rupees. We therefore beg an immediate appropri- 
ation, not only to liquidate the expenses already incurred, 
but to enable us to proceed in this all-important part of our 
work. The accounts of the mission press we propose to keep 
distinct ; and they shall be submitted together with the ac- 
counts of the mission. 

" We know not how long the press will be permitted to re- 
main in Rangoon ; we do not, however, deprecate its removal 
to Ava. Such a measure would doubtless tend to the fur- 
therance of the cause, and to the introduction of religion into 
the very heart of the empire, where Satan's seat is. But in 
this case more men and more money would be imperatively 
demanded ; and we trust that the patronage of the Board 
will not fail us in these necessary points. We desire humbly 
to repeat to the Board what the first missionaries from the 
Baptist society in England said to their friends, when on the 
point of embarkation in the great work which seems destined 
to illumine Western India with the light of the Gospel. 'We 
are,' said they, ' like men going down into a well ; you stand 
at the top and hold the ropes. Do not let us fall.' Hold us 
up, brethren and fathers ; and if health and life be spared to 
us, we hope, through the grace of God, to see Eastern India 
also beginning to participate in the same glorious light. 
Many years may intervene in the latter as well as in the for- 
mer case ; many difficulties and disappointments may try 
your faith and ours. But let patience have her perfect work ; 
let us not be weary of well-doing ; for in due time we shall 
reap, if we faint tiot.*' 

The articles of agreement alluded to in this letter are as 
follows : 

" In order more effectually, under the blessing of our Lord 
and Master, to accomplish the important work for which we 
have come into this heathen land, we, the undersigned, form 
a union on the following principles, namely : 

" I. We give ourselves to the Lord Jesus Christ and to one 
another by the will of God. 


" 2. We agree to be kindly-affectioned one toward another 
with brotherly love, in honor preferring one another ; feeling 
that we have one Master, even Christ, and that all we are 

"3, We agree in the opinion that our sole object on earth 
is to introduce the religion of Jesus Christ into the empire 
of Burmah ; and that the means by which we hope to effect 
this are, translating, printing, and distributing the Holy 
Scriptures, preaching the Gospel, circulating religious tracts, 
and promoting the instruction of native children. 

'^4. We therefore agree to engage in no secular business 
for the purpose of individual emolument ; and not at all, 
unless, in the opinion of the brethren, the great object of the 
mission can be best promoted thereby. 

" 5. We agree to relinquish all private right to remittances 
from America, avails of labor, and compensation for service ; 
in a word, to place all money and property, from whatever 
quarter accruing, in the mission fund ; provided, that nothing 
in this article be construed to affect our private right to in- 
heritances, or personal favors, not made in compensation of 

"6. We agree that all the members of the mission family 
have claims on the mission fund for equal support in similar 
circumstances ; the claims of widows and orphans not to be 
in the least affected by the death of the head of their family. 
But it is to be understood that no one shall have a right to 
adopt a child into the mission family, so as to entitle it to 
the claims secured in this article, but by consent of the 

" 7. We agree to educate our children with a particular 
reference to the object of the mission ; and if any expense be 
necessary or expedient for this purpose, it shall be defrayed 
from the mission fund. 

" 8. All appropriations from the mission fund shall be 
made by a majority of the missionary brethren united in this 
compact ; subject, however, to the inspection of our patrons, 
the Board. "A. Judson, Jr. 

" George H. Hough." 


Upon Mr, Hough's arrival he immediately put the print- 
ing-press into operation. One thousand copies of the tract 
above mentioned and three thousand copies of a catechism 
which had just been completed by Mrs. Judson, were struck 
off and put into circulation. This strange new religion 
could not fail of at least catching the attention of the in- 
quisitive Burmans. As the fishermen attach many hooks 
to a long line stretched across a river, hoping that at least 
a few of the many fishes swimming past may be taken, so 
our missionaries, with much care and toil, adjusted their 
trawl of tracts in the midst of the dense Burmese popula- 
tion, and anxiously, prayerfully awaited the result. 

After only a few weeks of suspense they caught the first 
inquirer. In a letter to the Corresponding Secretary, dated 
Rangoon, March 7, 1817, Mr. Judson writes: 

" Since the beginning of this year, we have printed two 
tracts, the one a view of the Christian religion, seven pages, 
one thousand copies ; the other a catechism of six pages, 
i2mo, three thousand copies. After which, finding that we 
had paper sufficient for an edition of eight hundred of Mat- 
thew, we concluded to undertake this one gospel, by way of 
trial, and as introductory to a larger edition of the whole 
New Testament, I am now translating the eleventh chapter, 
and in the printing-room the third half-sheet is setting up. 
Having premised thus much concerning the present posture 
of our affairs, I proceed to mention the circumstance which 
induced me to take up my pen at this time. I have this day 
been visited by the first inquirer after religion that I have 
ever seen in Burmah. For, although in the course of the last 
two years I have preached the Gospel to many, and though 
some have visited me several times, and conversed on the 
subject of religion, yet I have never had much reason to be- 
lieve that their visits originated in a spirit of sincere inquiry. 
Conversations on religion have always been of my proposing, 
and, though I have sometimes been encouraged to hope that 
truth had made some impression, never, till to-day, have I met 
with one who was fairly entitled to the epithet of inquirer. 


"As I was sitting with my teacher, as usual, a Burman of 
respectable appearance, and followed by a servant, came up 
the steps, and sat down by me. I asked him the usual ques- 
tion, where he came from, to which he gave no explicit reply, 
and I began to suspect that he had come from the Govern- 
ment house, to enforce a trifling request which in the morning 
we had declined. He soon, however, undeceived and aston- 
ished me, by asking, * How long time will it take me to learn 
the religion of Jesus ?' I replied that such a question could 
not be answered. If God gave light and wisdom, the religion 
of Jesus was soon learned ; but, without God, a man might 
study all his life long, and make no proficiency. ' But how,' 
continued I, ' came you to know anything of Jesus ? Have 
you ever been here before ? ' ' No.' ' Have you seen any 
writing concerning Jesus ? ' 'I have seen two little books.' 
* Who is Jesus ? ' ' He is the Son of God, who, pitying creat- 
ures, came into this world, and suffered death in their stead.' 
'Who is God?' 'He is a being without beginning or end, 
who is not subject to old age and death, but always is.' I 
can not tell how I felt at this moment. This was the first 
acknowledgment of an eternal God that I had ever heard 
from the lips of a Burman. I handed him a tract and cate- 
chism, both which he instantly recognized, and read here and 
there, making occasional remarks to his follower, such as 
' This is the true God ; this is the right way,' etc. I now 
tried to tell him some things about God and Christ, and him- 
self, but he did not listen with much attention, and seemed 
anxious only to get another book. I had already told him 
two or three times that I had finished no other book, but 
that in two or three months I would give him a larger one, 
which I was now daily employed in translating. ' But,' re- 
plied he, ' have you not a little of that book done, which you 
will graciously give me now ? ' And I, beginning to think 
that God's time is better than man's, folded and gave him 
the first two half-sheets, which contain the first five chapters 
of Matthew, on which he instantly rose, as if his business 
was all done, and, having received an invitation to come 
again, took leave. 


"Throughout his short stay, he appeared different from 
any Burmans I have yet met with. He asked no questions 
about customs and manners, with which the Burmans tease 
us exceedingly. He had no curiosity, and no desire for any- 
thing, but 'more of this sort of writing.' In fine, his con- 
duct proved that he had something on his mind, and I can 
not but-hope that I shall have to write about him again. 

" March 24. We have not yet seen our inquirer ; but to- 
day we met with one of his acquaintance, who says that he 
reads our books all the day, and shows them to all that call 
upon him. We told him to ask his friend to come and see us 

In a letter written almost a year afterward, Mrs. Judson 
alludes to this same inquirer: 

'■^January 30. The Burman Mr. Judson mentioned some 
time ago as being the first serious inquirer, and one who has 
excited the most hope, came to-day to the mission-house. It 
is now almost a year since he first came, and with much ap- 
parent anxiety inquired, ' How long time will it take me to 
learn the religion of Jesus?' We have since frequently in- 
quired, but obtained little information respecting him until 
to-day. Soon after his first visit, he was appointed governor 
of a cluster of villages situated on the Salwen River, in the 
country of Pegu. He has been at Rangoon but once since, 
and then on business by order of the viceroy, and obliged to 
return immediately. 

*' I asked him if he had become a disciple of Jesus Christ. 
He replied, ' I have not yet, but I am thinking and reading 
in order to become one. I can not yet destroy my old mind ; 
for when I see a handsome patso (a cloth the Burman men 
wear) or a handsome g(nviibown (the handkerchief worn on 
the head), I still desire them. Tell the great teacher, when 
he returns, that I wish to see him, though I am not a disciple 
of Christ.* He requested the remaining part of Matthew's 
gospel, also catechisms and tracts for his followers. I gave 
all of his attendants tracts ; on which he said to them, 'Take 
and read them attentively, and when you have embraced the 


doctrines they contain, come here, and converse with the 
teacher.' " 

As no further mention is made of this first inquirer who 
caused such a leap of hope in Mr. Judson's heart, we are left 
in the dark as to his subsequent life, as in the case of the 
young man who asked our blessed Lord what good thing 
he should do that he might have eternal life, and having 
heard the reply, went away sorrowing. Did this eager in- 
quirer for " more of this sort of writing " learn to cherish a 
secret faith in the Christ, so earnestly commended to him 
by the pale-faced stranger? or, rejecting the Saviour, did 
he make what Dante calls "the great refusal "?* 

On May 20, 18 17, Mr. Judson completed the translation 
of the gospel of Matthew. This marks the first stage in 
the monumental task of translating the whole Bible into 
Burmese. Two days later he began to compile a Burman 
dictionary. But close application for more than four years 
to the study of the Burman language and to the translation 
of tracts and Scriptures, and to the compilation of a gram- 
mar and dictionary, were breaking down his health. A sea 
voyage was needed to restore his vigor. But need of rest 
alone would not have caused him to take even a few weeks' 
vacation from his toils and cares. He was impatient to 
begin holding public services in the Burman tongue. But 
although he understood the structure of the language, and 
could read, and write, and speak in Burman, yet for conduct- 
ing public worship he felt the need of a native Christian 

Burmah is flanked on the western side by the mountains 
of Arracan ; f between these and the Bay of Bengal lies the 
flat coast district of Chittagong. It had been ceded to the 
English. The inhabitants of this district spoke Burmese. 
A few years before, the English Baptists had begun a mis- 
sion in Chittagong. Several converts had been baptized, 

* For this phrase of Dante's I am indebted to Canon Farrar. t See Map II. 


when the mission was abandoned. Mr. Judsou conceived 
the plan of visiting Chittagong, in order to gather together 
the scattered converts, instruct them anew, and perhaps 
bring one or two of them to help him in Rangoon. This 
would furnish him employment during the needed vacation. 
Besides, the rare opportunity was afforded of going and 
returning in the same ship; so that he would have to be 
absent for only three months. How painfully this pet proj- 
ect of his was frustrated, and how his three months were 
stretched out into almost two-thirds of a precious year, may 
be learned from the following letters to the Corresponding 
Secretary : 

"Madras, J/ay 2S, iSiS. 

"In former letters I have stated my circumstances at the 
close of last year, and the reasons which induced me to leave 
Rangoon on a visit to Chittagong ; particularly the prospect 
of a direct passage, and speedy return in the same ship — an 
opportunity of very rare occurrence in Rangoon. 

" Since that time a series of unexpected providences have 
befallen me, which, though uninteresting in detail, nust be 
briefly mentioned, in order to account for my present situ- 

"When we left Rangoon, December 25, we expected a 
passage of ten or twelve days. At the expiration of a month, 
however, by reason of contrary winds, and the unmanage- 
ableness of the ship in the difficult navigation along the 
coast, we found ourselves still at a great distance from port ; 
and the season being so far advanced as to deprive us of the 
hope of more favorable winds, the captain and supercargo 
agreed on a change of the ship's destination, and made sail 
for Madras. 

" Previous to leaving the coast, we put into Cheduba, a 
place under Burman government, for a supply of provisions. 
I was unable to go ashore, but took the opportunity of send- 
ing a tract by the boat. It happened to be conveyed direct- 
ly to the governor, and he ordered it read in his presence. 
Soon after, when our captain had an audience, the governoi 

114 ^-^^ ^^^^ ^^ ADOXIRAM yUDSO.V. 

inquired after the writer of the tract, who he was, and how 
long he had been in the country. The captain evaded some 
questions, for fear of detention, I suppose, and merely stated 
that the writer was a foreigner, who had resided in Rangoon 
about four years. ' No,' replied the governor, ' that is not 
to be credited. You can not make me believe that a foreigner, 
in so short a time, has learned to write the language so well. 
It must have been written by some other person.' The cap- 
tain related this to me on his return. I felt particularly 
gratified by this testimony to the perspicuity of the style, 
and thought it not unworthy of mentioning, because it could 
not be suspected, as others which had been made to me 
personally, of having been a mere compliment. 

" The ship's destination was changed on the 26th of Janu- 
ary. We retraced our course for a few days, and then stood 
to the westward. It was with the most bitter feelings that 
I witnessed the entire failure of my undertaking, and saw 
the summits of the mountains of Arracan, the last indexes of 
my country, sinking in the horizon, and the ship stretching 
away to a distant part of India, which I had no wish to visit, 
and where I had no object to obtain. It was, however, some 
mitigation of my disappointment, that I should, in all prob- 
ability, be able to return to Rangoon, and resume my mis- 
sionary business much earlier than if I had visited Chittagong. 
But even the consolation of this hope was not long allowed 
me. We had, indeed, a quick passage across the bay ; but 
on drawing near the Coromandel coast the wind and current 
combined to prevent our further progress, and at the ex- 
piration of another month, having for a long time subsisted 
on nothing scarcely but rice and water, and being now re- 
duced to very short allowance, we concluded to make sail 
for Masulipatam, a port north of Madras, which we doubted 
not we should be able to reach in a very few days. In this, 
again, we were disappointed, and through the unmanage- 
ableness of the ship, or the mismanagement of the captain, 
were detained at sea nearly another month. During this 
period we were sometimes in great distress, deeming our- 
selves very fortunate when able to get a bag of rice, or a few 


buckets of water, from any native vessel which happened to 
pass. Once we sent the long-boat to the shore, and obtained 
a considerable supply of water, which was a great relief. But 
of rice we could obtain no sufficient supply, and all other 
articles of provision were quite out of the question. 

"The low state to which I was at length reduced occasioned 
a partial return of the disorder of my head and eyes, to 
which I was subject two years ago. This, with other circum- 
stances united, left me no other source of consolation but 
resignation to the will of God, and an unreserved surrender 
of all to His care ; and praised be His name, I found more 
consolation and happiness in communion with God, and in 
the enjoyments of religion, than I had ever found in more 
prosperous circumstances. 

" Finally we did reach Masulipatam, and I left the ship on 
the i8th of March, twelve weeks after embarking at Rangoon, 
I waited at Masulipatam a few days, until it was ascertained 
that the ship would unlade her cargo, and remain several 
months. And as there was no prospect that season of reach- 
ing Madras by sea, the only port on the coast where I could 
hope to find a vessel bound to Rangoon, I was under the 
necessity of taking a journey by land — distance about three 
hundred miles. I accordingly hired a palanquin and bearers, 
and arrived here the 8th of April. My first aim was, of 
course, the beach, and my first inquiry a vessel bound to 
Rangoon. But my chapter of disappointments was not yet 
finished. No vessel had sailed for Rangoon this year, and 
such, it was understood, was the unsettled state of the Bur- 
man country, that none would probably venture for some 
time to come. 

" Here I have remained ever since, under very trying cir- 
cumstances. Have scarcely heard from Rangoon since I left, 
or been able to transmit any intelligence thither by a convey- 
ance to be depended on. The weakness of my eyes prevents 
my application to study, or attempt at any exertion. I am 
making no progress in missionary work ; I am distressed by 
the appalling recollection of the various business which was 
pressing on me at Rangoon, and made me very reluctant to 


leave home for the shortest time. Now, I have been detained 
twice as long as I anticipated, and have, withal, wholly failed 
in my undertaking. Where, my rebellious heart is ready to 
cry, where is the wisdom of all this ? But it is wise, though 
blindness can not apprehend. It is best, though unbelief is 
disposed to murmur. Be still, my soul, and know that He 

is God." 

" Rangoon, October 9, 1818. 
"My last was dated Madras, May 28, 1818. At that place 
I remained, waiting for a conveyance to Rangoon, until the 
20th of July, when I took passage on an English vessel, at 
one hundred and sixty-seven rupees. During my stay in 
Madras, I experienced great kindness and hospitality in the 
families of the Rev. Mr. Thompson, chaplain, and the Rev. 
Mr. Loveless, missionary ; and received such proofs of Chris- 
tian affection from many dear friends, as rendered parting 
with them very painful, though my detention in Madras had, 
in other respects, been almost insupportable. We anchored 
at the mouth of Rangoon River, on the 2d of August. The 
next morning, when the pilot came on board, I was over- 
whelmed with the intelligence that, on account of the danger- 
ous situation of affairs, the mission had been broken up, and 
that Mr. Hough and family, and Mrs. Judson, had taken 
passage for Bengal. To my great relief, however, it was 
added, that, before the ship left the river, Mrs. Judson's 
reluctance to leave the place had so increased as to force her 
back to the mission-house alone ; and further, that the ship, 
being found unfit for sea, was still detained. On my arrival, 
I found that brother Hough was inclined to pursue his orig- 
inal plan. His reasons he will doubtless communicate to the 
Board. It is expected that the vessel will be ready for sea 
in about a fortnight." 

It is characteristic of IVIr. Judson's letters to the Board 
that he kept out of sight his own personal sufferings, touch- 
ing only upon matters which seemed to him of general in- 
terest and importance. We are, therefore, indebted to 
Mrs. E. C. Judson for certain reminiscences of this horrible 
voyage, which she received from his own lips : 


"They had sailed for Chittagong, a passage which should 
have been made in ten or twelve days, at farthest. He had, 
therefore, prepared himself for only a few weeks' absence 
from home. When the vessel put in at Cheduba, the nervous 
affection of his head and eyes, occasioned at first by low diet, 
had so much increased by exhaustion and lack of food, that 
he was unable to go on shore. When they approached the 
Coromandel coast, and again encountered contrary winds, 
they were reduced to almost the last extremity, and the con- 
stitution of Mr. Judson sank under these accumulated hard- 
ships. The mouldy, broken rice, which they picked up from 
native vessels, and this in small quantities, with a limited 
supply of water, was their sole sustenance for three or four 
weeks. He was accustomed to look back on his sufferings at 
this time with a feeling of horror scarcely equalled by his 
reminiscences of Ava. Here he was alone, in a state of pas- 
sive, monotonous suffering, with no one to share his sympa- 
thies, and nothing to arouse his energies. His scanty ward- 
robe, prepared for a trip of ten or twelve days, had been 
long since exhausted, and what with starvation, filth, pain, 
and discouragement, he became unable to leave his berth. 
At last he was attacked by a slow fever, and turning in disgust 
from his little mess of dirty rice, he begged continually for 
water ! water ! water ! without ever obtaining enough to 
quench, even for a moment, his devouring thirst. At length 
the little vessel came to anchor in the mud of Masulipatam, 
some two or three miles from the low, uninviting beach, and 
the captain came to inquire if he would be taken on shore. 
The fact that they were near land seemed to him an incred- 
ible thing, a kind of dreamy illusion too fanciful to interest 
him. After some urging, however, he became sufficiently 
roused to pencil a note, which he addressed to ' any English 
resident of Masulipatam,' begging only for a place on shore 
to die. After a little while, one of the men came below, to 
tell him that a boat was approaching from the shore. He 
now succeeded in crawling to the window of his cabin, from 
which he plainly distinguished, in the rapidly moving boat, 
both the red coat of the military and the white jacket of the 


civilian. In the first thrill of joyful surprise, the sudden 
awakening of hope and pleasure, he threw himself on his 
knees and wept. Before his new friends were fairly on 
board, he had succeeded in gaining some little self-con- 
trol ; but he added, his voice faltering and his eyes filling 
with tears as he related the incident to Mrs. Judson, 
'The white face of an Englishman never looked to me 
so beautiful, so like my conception of what angel faces 
are, as when these strangers entered my cabin.' They 
were very much shocked at his visible wretchedness : he 
was haggard, unshaven, dirty, and so weak that he could 
with difficulty support his own weight. Their earnest cordi- 
ality was peculiarly grateful to him. One of the officers 
took him to his own house, supplied him from his own ward- 
robe, procured a nurse, whom, however, he had occasion to 
employ but a short time, and displayed throughout a gener- 
ous hospitality which Dr. Judson never forgot." 

But his anxieties and sufferings during this voyage were 
fully parallelled by those of the heroic woman whom he had 
left behind him at Rangoon. From Christmas-day of 1817 
until July 16 of the following year, no word whatever 
came to Mrs. Judson from her husband, from whom she 
had expected to be parted only for a few weeks. She occu- 
pied part of her time teaching about thirty Burman women 
whom she had gathered together. She writes : 

"I have again commenced my studies, keeping myself 
closely engaged until 2 o'clock. This I find the best method 
to avoid dejection. Besides my conscience will not permit 
me to sit idly down, and yield to those depressing feelings in 
which a Christian should not indulge." 

A succession of disasters had swept over the little mission. 
She alone faltered not. We catch a gleam at Rangoon of that 
same fidelity and courage that afterward burned so long and 
so steadily at Ava and Oung-penla. The mission was har- 
assed by Government persecution. It was rumored that the 
foreigners were to be banished. The viceroy, who had been 


their steady friend, was recalled to Ava. The new viceroy 
was a stranger to them. A menacing order summoned Mr. 
Hough to the court-house, with the message that, " If he 
did not tell all the truth relative to his situation in the 
country, they would write with his heart's blood." Mrs. 
Judson interceded in person, and by her own knowledge of 
the language, and her matchless womanly tact, conciliated 
the viceroy. Asiatic cholera raged in Rangoon. The death- 
gong sounded all the day long. Rumors of war between 
England and Burmah filled the air. The English ships one 
by one hastily weighed anchor and slipped out of the harbor; 
only a single vessel remained — the sole way of escape. Her 
missionary associates, the Houghs, determined to seize this 
last opportunity, and fly from the country before it was too 
late. Against her will they urged her on board. But her 
great nature rose in its strength. She insisted on going 
ashore. She tore herself away and went back to the mis- 
sion premises alone. Her husband, if still alive, should not 
return and find his mission-station deserted, and himself in 
Burmah without a companion. 

" For mightier far than strength of nerve and sinew, 
Or magic potent over sun and star, is Love ; 
Though oft to agony distrest. 
And though his favorite seat be feeble woman's breast." 

The subjoined account of Mrs. Judson's experiences is 
in her own words : 

" Mr. Hough, for some time past, has been desirous to have 
Mrs. Hough, myself, and his children go to Bengal. But I 
have ever felt resolved not to make any movement until I 
hear from Mr. Judson. Within a few days, however, some 
circumstances have occurred which have induced me to 
make preparations for a voyage. There is but one remain- 
ing ship in the river, and if an embargo is laid on English 
ships, it will be impossible for Mr. Judson (if he is yet alive) 
to return to this place. But the uncertainty of meeting him 
in Bengal, and the possibility of his arriving in my absencCj 


cause me to make preparations with a heavy heart. Some- 
times I feel inclined to remain here alone, and hazard the 
consequences. I should certainly conclude on this step, if 
any probability existed of Mr. Judson's return. This mission 
has never appeared in so low a state as at the present time. 
It seems now entirely destroyed, as we all expect to embark 
for Bengal in a day or two. Alas ! alas ! how changed our 
prospects since Mr. Judson left us. How dark, how intricate 
the providence which now surrounds us ! Yet it becomes 
us to be still, and know that He is God who has thus or- 
dered our circumstances. 

"Jtdy 14. Alone, my dear friends, in this great house, 
without an individual excepting my little girl and Burmans, 
I take my pen to relate the strange vicissitudes through 
which I have passed within a few days. 

'' On the 5th of this month I embarked with Mr, Hough 
and family for Bengal, having previously disposed of what 
I could not take with me. I had engaged Mr. Judson's 
teacher to accompany me, that in case of meeting him in 
Bengal he could go on with his Burman studies. But the 
teacher, fearing the difficulties arising from his being a Bur- 
man, broke his engagement, and refused to go. My disin- 
clination to proceed in the course commenced had increased 
to such a degree, that I was on the point of giving up the 
voyage myself ; but my passage was paid, my baggage on 
board, and I knew not how to separate myself from the rest 
of the mission family. The vessel, however, was several 
days in going down the river ; and when on the point of 
putting out to sea, the captain and officers ascertained she 
was in a dangerous state, in consequence of having been im- 
properly loaded, and that she must be detained for a day or 
two at the place in which she then lay. I immediately re- 
solved on giving up the voj'age and returning to town. Ac- 
cordingly the captain sent up a boat with me, and engaged 
to forward my baggage the next day. I reached town in the 
evening — spent the night at the house of the only remaining 
Englishman in the place, and to-day have come out to the 
mission-house, to the great joy of all the Burmans left on 


our premises. Mr. Hough and his family will proceed, and 
they kindly and affectionately urge my return. I know I am 
surrounded by dangers on every hand, and expect to see 
much anxiety and distress ; but at present I am tranquil, and 
intend to make an effort to pursue my studies as formerly, 
and leave the event with God." 

After this gloomy episode the prospects of the mission 
began to brighten. Mr. Hough, indeed, had gone to Cal- 
cutta, taking the printing-press with him, so that for some 
time all the presswork of the mission had to be done there. 
But on September 19, 18 18, Messrs. Colman and Wheelock, 
with their wives, arrived in Rangoon and joined the mission. 
Mr. Judson writes: 

"We had, I can truly say, a most joyful meeting. You 
have never seen them, or it would be unnecessary to add 
that they are four lovely persons, in every sense of the word, 
and appear to have much of an humble, prayerful spirit. Such 
being their interesting appearance, we regret more deeply 
to find that the health of the brethren is so feeble. They 
have both had a slight return of bleeding at the lungs, an 
old complaint, to which they were subject in America. May 
the Lord graciously restore and preserve them. 

"A few days after their arrival, I introduced them into the 
presence of the viceroy. He received us with marked atten- 
tion, which, however, must be ascribed to the influence of a 
handsome present, which went before us. Though sur- 
rounded with many officers, he suspended all business for a 
time, examined the present, and condescended to make sev- 
eral inquiries. On being told that the new teachers desired 
to take refuge in his glory, and remain in Rangoon, he re- 
plied, ' Let them stay, let them stay ; and let your wife bring 
their wives that I may see them all.' We then made our 
obeisance, and retired." 

The time had now come when Mr. Judson's long-cher- 
ished desire to hold public worship among the Burmans in 


their own tongue was to be gratified. The Httle chapel, 
or zayat, had been built. It is thus described by Mrs. 
Judson : 

" The zayat is situated thirty or forty rods from the mis- 
sion-house, and in dimensions is twenty-seven by eighteen 
feet. It is raised four feet from the ground, and is divided 
into three parts. The first division is laid entirely open to 
the road, without doors, windows, or a partition in the front 
side, and takes up a third part of the whole building. It is 
made of bamboo and thatch, and is the place where Mr. 
Judson sits all the day long, and says to the passers-by, ' Ho ! 
every one that thirsteth,' etc. The next and middle divis- 
ion is a large, airy room, with four doors and four windows, 
opening in opposite directions ; made entirely of boards, 
and is whitewashed, to distinguish it from the other zayats 
around us. 

** In this room we have public worship in Burman on the 
Sabbath ; and in the middle of it I am now situated at 
my writing-table, while six of the male scholars are at one 
end, each with his torch and blackboard, over which he is 
industriously bending, and emitting the curious sounds of 
the language. The third and last division is only an entry- 
way, which opens into the garden leading to the mission- 
house. In this apartment all the women are seated, with 
their lights and blackboards, much in the same position and 
employment as the men." 

It will be seen from this that the zayat was not simply a 
church, but a religious school-house as well. It also afforded 
a convenient place of rendezvous where Mr. Judson could 
sit all the day long, attracting the attention of the passers- 
by, and often engaging them in religious conversation.* 

The following letter from Mr. Judson to the Correspond- 
ing Secretary relates to this, the first house of worship 
erected by American Baptists in Burmah : 

■ * The work done through the zayat is described in a sketch by Mrs. E. C. Judson, 
entitled "Wayside Preaching." See Appendix F. 



" Rangoon, February 20, 1819. 

" The prospect of the speedy departure of a vessel for Ben 
gal reminds us of our unanswered letters. Brother Colman 
has nearly recovered his health, which suffered much on his 
first arrival. But brother Wheelock still remains in a low, 
and, I fear, declining state. 

" My time, for the last few months, has been divided be- 
tweeji reading Burman, writing some portions of Scripture, 
and other things preparatory to public worship, holding con- 
versations on religion, and superintending the erection of a 
zayat (as the Burmans call it), or place of public resort, where 
we intend to spend much of our time, and where we hope to 
have stated worship, or, at least, to try the practicability of 
such an attempt under this Government. 

"The peculiarly retired situation of the mission-house has 
long rendered the erection of such a building, or a change of 
residence, a very desirable measure. After much hesitation 
and perplexity about our duty, we were so fortunate as to 
procure, at a very moderate price, a piece of ground which is 
contiguous to the mission premises, and at the same time 
opens on a public road. The building is now going up, with 
such scanty materials and means as we can afford, or, rather, 
as we think you can afford. The whole concern will cost 
about two hundred dollars. And should this zayat prove to 
be a Christian meeting-house, the first erected in this land of 
atheists, for the worship of God — a house where Burmans, 
who now deny the very existence of Deity, shall assemble to 
adore the majesty of heaven, and to sing with hearts of devo- 
tion the praises of the incarnate Saviour But the thought 

seems too great to be realize'd. Can this darkness be re- 
moved ? Can these dry bones live ? On Thee, Jesus, all our 
hopes depend. In Thee all power is vested, even power to 
make sinful creatures instrumental in enlightening the 

"You want to hear of some poor benighted Burman 
brought to taste that the Lord is gracious ; but O, not more 
than I want to speak of it. I hope, I do hope, my dear sir 
that we shall both one day be gratified." 


On April 4, 18 19, even before the zayat was completed, 
the first public service was held. Mr. Judson was thirty- 
one years old, and had been in Rangoon nearly six years 
before he ventured to preach to a Burman audience in their 
own tongue. This marks an era in the history of the Bur- 
man mission ; for it is a noteworthy fact that the institution 
of public worship was soon followed by the first in a series 
of conversions. 

It was on June 27, 18 19, about seven years and four 
months after Mr. Judson left America, and about six years 
after his arrival in Rangoon, that he was permitted to bap- 
tize the first Burman convert, Moung Nau. The secret of 
that sublime faith which enabled him to endure without a 
misgiving so many long, weary years of sowing without the 
joy of seeing a single blade of grain, may be learned from 
the following lines, which he wrote in pencil on the inner 
cover of a book which he was using in the compilation of 
the Burman dictionary: 

" In joy or sorrow, health or pain. 
Our course be onward still ; 
We sow on Burmah's barren plain. 
We reap on Zion's hill." 

The following extracts from his journal, with a letter ot 
Mrs. Judson's, afford a vivid description of the commence- 
ment of public worship among the Burmans, and the prog- 
ress of that religious movement which culminated in the 
baptism of the first three converts, Moung Nau, Moung 
Byaa, and Moung Thahlah : 

"Aprils, 1819. My close application to the Burman dic- 
tionary during the year 181 7, and my subsequent loss of 
nearly a year in the unsuccessful attempt to visit Chittagong, 
have occasioned a long interruption in my journal. Since 
my return to Rangoon, the little I have to say I have com- 
municated in letters. With this day, a new, and I hope im- 
portant, era in the mission, I resume the journal. 


" To-day, the building of the zayat being sufficiently ad- 
vanced for the purpose, I called together a few people that 
live around us, and commenced public worship in the Bur- 
man language. I say commenced, for, though I have frequently 
read and discoursed to the natives, I have never before con- 
ducted a course of exercises which deserved the name of 
public worship, according to the usual acceptation of that 
phrase among Christians ; and though I began to preach the 
Gospel as soon as I could speak intelligibly, I have thought 
it hardly becoming to apply the term preaching, since it has 
acquired an appropriate meaning in modern use, to my im- 
perfect, desultory exhortations and conversations. But I 
hope, though with fear and trembling, that I have now com- 
menced a course of public worship and regular preaching. 
This would have taken place just a year ago, had I returned 
to Rangoon as I expected, and still earlier, had I not been 
under a Government where I thought it prudent to gain a 
considerable acquaintance with the language before com- 
mencing public operations, lest I should be unable prop- 
erly to vindicate my gonduct when called to a judicial ac- 

" The congregation to-day consisted of fifteen persons only, 
besides children. Much disorder and inattention prevailed, 
most of them not having been accustomed to attend Burman 
worship. May the Lord grant His blessing on attempts 
made in great weakness and under great disadvantages ; and 
all the glory will be His. 

'■'■April 25. Lord's day. Yesterday we completed the zayat, 
set up the front stairs, and laid open the entrance from the 
road. This morning I took my seat on the floor in the open 
porch, under some solemn impression of the great responsi- 
bility attached to my new mode of life. 

" In the forenoon the members of the mission family came 
over to have our usual worship, having concluded to hold it 
for a few Sundays in the zayat, rather than in the house, in 
order to give the Burmans some idea of the place. 

"In the afternoon our people came together, and several 
came in from the road, so that we had an assembly of be- 


tween twenty-five and thirty, besides children. At the close 
of. the service I distributed several tracts to the strangers. 

^^ April 28. Nothing interesting through the day. At 
night, encountered a bitter opposer ; he had visited Bengal, 
and some foe to missions had poisoned his mind ; he mani- 
fested a most virulent spirit. I felt that he would most 
•gladly be foremost in destroying us. But through divine 
grace I was enabled to treat him with meekness and gentle- 
ness, and he finally left me politely. He appeared to be rich, 
and had several followers. -In the evening there were some 
hopeful appearances in Mrs. Judson's female meeting — a 
meeting which she has recommenced since public worship 
has been set up in the zayat. 

" April 2g. A precious case has just occurred. A young 
man of twenty-four, by name Moung Koo, happened to stroll 
in last Sunday, and was present at worship. He appeared to 
be rather wild and noisy, though his manners were respectful. 
He took a tract, and went away. This morning he made his 
appearance again, and has been with me about two hours. I 
have been enabled, through divine assistance, to give him a 
great deal of truth, and especially to expatiate with some feel- 
ing on the love and sufferings of the Saviour. The truth 
seems to have taken hold of his mind. 

'^ April 30. I was agreeably surprised in the morning to 
see the young man of yesterday come again so soon. He 
stayed all the forenoon, and seemed desirous of hearing as 
much as possible about religion. Several others came and 
went. A very busy day ; hardly time to prepare these min- 
utes to be forwarded by a vessel which leaves this port for 
Bengal early to-morrow morning. 

'■'■ Alay I, 1819. Burman day of worship ; of course many 
visitors ; among the rest, Moung Nau, a man who was with 
me several hours yesterday ; but, from his silence and reserve, 
excited little attention or hope. To-da)^, however, I begin to 
think better of him. Moung Koo came again at night, and 
appeared pretty well. These two men, with the two persons 
from Kambet, of the 27th, I call the fruits of the week. But 
let us see who of them will remember the day of worship. 



^^ May 2, Lord's day. About three o'clock the quiet and 
modest Moung Nau came in and took his usual place. For 
the others we looked in vain. About thirty present at wor- 
ship. Very few paid much attention, or probably received 
any benefit. 

^^Alay 3. Among the visitors of to-day was a respectable 
man, formerly an officer, now a merchant, resident at Little 
Bridge, a village contiguous to Kambet. After long and 
various conversation, in which he paid close and respectful 
attention, he said that he was a person not a little versed in 
Burman literature, but that he now saw he had erred in all ; 
he regretted that he had lived two years in the neighborhood 
without knowing me ; to-day was an auspicious day ; he 
wished to become my disciple, would read my writings with 
attention, and come as often as possible. 

''May 5. Moung Nau has been with me several hours. I 
begin to think that the grace of God has reached his heart. 
He expresses sentiments of repentance for his sins, and faith 
in the Saviour. The substance of his profession is, that from 
the darknesses, and uncleannesses, and sins of his whole life, 
he has found no other Saviour but Jesus Christ ; nowhere 
else can he look for salvation ; and therefore he proposes to 
adhere to Christ, and worship Him all his life long. 

" It seems almost too much to believe that God has begun 
to manifest His grace to the Burmans ; but this day I could 
not resist the delightful conviction that this is really the case. 
Praise and glory be to His name forevermore. Amen. 

''May 6. Moung Nau was again with me a great part of 
the day. He appears to be slowly growing in religious 
knowledge, and manifests a teachable, humble spirit, ready 
to believe all that Christ has said, and obey all that He has 
commanded. He is thirty-five years old ; no family, mid- 
dling abilities, quite poor, obliged to work for his living, and 
therefore his coming, day after day, to hear the truth, affords 
stronger evidence that it has taken hold of his mind. May 
the Liord graciously lead his dark mind into all the truth, and 
cause him to cleave inviolably to the blessed Saviour. 

" May 8. Burman day of worship. Thronged with visit- 


ors through the day. Had more or less company, without 
intermission, for about eight hours. Several heard much of 
the Gospel, and engaged to come again. Moung Nau was 
with me a great part of the day, and assisted me much in ex- 
plaining things to new-comers. 

^^ May 9. Lord's day. Moung Shwaa Oo came in the 
morning, and stayed through the whole day. Only two or 
three of all I conversed with yesterday came again. Had, 
however, an assembly of thirty. After worship, some warm 
disputation. I begin to feel that the Burmans can not stand 
before the truth. In the course of the conversation, Moung 
Nau declared himself a disciple of Christ, in presence of a 
considerable number ; and even Moung Shwaa Oo appeared 
to incline the same way. 

^'' May 10. Early in the morning, Moung Nau came to 
take leave, being obliged to go to a distance after timber, his 
usual occupation. I took him alone and prayed with him, 
and gave him a written prayer to help him in his private 

" Heard much to-day of the danger of introducing a new 
religion. All agreed in opinion that the king would cut off 
all who embraced it, being a king who could not bear that 
his subjects should differ in sentiment from himself ; and 
who has, for a long time, persecuted the friends of the estab- 
lished religion of the empire, because they would not sanc- 
tion all his innovations. Those who seemed most favorably 
disposed whispered me that I had better not stay in Rangoon 
and talk to common people, but go directly to the '■ lord of 
life and death.' If he approved of the religion, it would spread 
rapidly ; but, in the present state of things, nobody would 
dare to prosecute their inquiries, with the fear of the king 
before their eyes. They brought forward the case of the 
Kolans, a sect of Burmans who have been proscribed and 
put to death under several reigns. I tried to set them right 
in some points, and encourage them to trust in the care of 
an almighty Saviour ; but they speak low and look around 
fearfully when they mention the name of the ' owner of the 



"J/iyi3. Hadcompany all day, without intermission. About 
noon, Moung Nau came in, having given up his journey on 
account of the unfaithfulness of his employer. His behavior 
and conversation were very satisfactory. He regrets the want 
of a believing associate, but declares his determination of ad- 
hering to Christ, though no Burman should ever join him. 

^' May 15. Moung Nau has been with me all day, as well 
as yesterday. He is anxious to be received into our com- 
pany, and thinks it a great privilege to be the first among 
the Burmans in professing the religion of Jesus Christ. He 
has been told plainly that he has nothing to expect in this 
world but persecution, and perhaps death ; but he thinks it 
better to die for Christ, and be happy hereafter, than to live 
a few days and be forever wretched. All the members of the 
mission have, at different times, conversed with him, and are 
satisfied that a work of grace is begun in his heart. 

'■'■May 17. Moung Nau has received an advantageous 
offer to go to Ava, in the employ of a boat-owner. We were 
afraid to dissuade him from accepting, as he has no way of 
getting a living, and equally unwilling to have him absent 
several months. At length we advised him not to go, and he 
at once acquiesced. 

'■'■May 22. We have taken Moung Nau to live with us, in- 
tending to employ him in copying some small things for dis- 
tribution which we can not get printed at present, and allow 
him ten ticals a month. Our principal object, however, is to 
keep him in the way of instruction, hoping that he will 
ultimately be useful to his countrymen. 

" At night, Moung A came the second time, and appeared 
anxious to know the way of salvation. But I am grieved to 
find that he is going away on business to-morrow morning, 
and will be absent a long time. 

'■'■June 6. Lord's day. Had two interesting visitors. They 
were present at worship, and stayed till dark — certain they 
should come again — but will they ? 

"After partaking of the Lord's supper in the evening, we 
read and considered the following letter of Moung Nau 
which he wrote of his own accord : 


"*I, Moung Nau, the constant recipient of your excellent 
favor, approach your feet. Whereas my Lord's three have 
come to the country of Burmah, — not for the purposes of 
trade, but to preach the religion of Jesus Christ, the Son of 
the eternal God, — I, having heard and understood, am, with 
a joyful mind, filled with love. 

" ' I believe that the divine Son, Jesus Christ, suffered death, 
in the place of men, to atone for their sins. Like a heavy- 
laden man, I feel my sins are very many. The punishment 
of my sins I deserve to suffer. Since it is so, do you, sirs, 
consider that I, taking refuge in the merits of the Lord Jesus 
Christ, and receiving baptism, in order to become His dis- 
ciple, shall dwell one with yourselves, a band of brothers, in 
the happiness of heaven, and therefore grant me the ordi- 
nance of baptism.* It is through the grace of Jesus Christ 
that you, sirs, have come by ship from one country and con- 
tinent to another, and that we have met together. I pray my 
Lord's three that a suitable day may be appointed, and that 
I may receive the ordinance of baptism. 

" ' Moreover, as it is only since I have met with you, sirs, 
that I have known about the eternal God, I venture to pray 
that you will still unfold to me the religion of God, that my 
old disposition may be destroyed, and my new disposition 

"We have all, for some time, been satisfied concerning the 
reality of his religion, and therefore voted to receive him 
into church fellowship, on his being baptized, and proposed 
next Sunday for administering the ordinance. 

^'June 20. Lord's day. For the last fortnight, have had 
but little company at the zayat, owing probably to the rains, 
which have now fully set in The town has also been in 
great confusion in prospect of the viceroy's departure for 
Ava. We have been called on to pay another tax of fifteen 
ticals — got off with paying half. Have had several other 

* At the time of writing thi«, not having heard much of baptism, he seems to have 
ascribed an undue efficacv- to the ordinance. He has since corrected his error ; but 
the translator thinks it the most fair and impartial to give the letter just as it was 
written at first. 

LIFE IX I?.4A'G00.V. 


molestations from petty officers of Government. Concluded 
to postpone Moung Nau's baptism till the viceroy be fairly 

'■^June 21. The town is in the utmost anxiety and alarm. 
Order after order has reached our viceroy to hasten his return 
to Ava, with all the troops under arms. Great news are 
whispered. Some say there is a rebellion ; some say the 
king is sick, some that he is dead. But none dare to say this 
plainly. It would be a crime of the first magnitude ; for the 
'^ lord of land and water' is called immortal. The eldest son 
of his eldest son (his father being dead) has long been de- 
clared the heir of the crown ; but he has two very powerful 
uncles, who, it is supposed, will contest his right ; and in all 
probability the whole country will soon be a scene of anarchy 
and civil war. 

^'■Jicrie 22. Out all the morning, listening for news, un- 
certain whether a day or an hour will not plunge us into the 
greatest distress. The whole place is sitting in sullen silence, 
expecting an explosion. About 10 o'clock, a royal dispatch- 
boat pulls up to the shore. An imperial mandate is produced. 
The crowds make way for the sacred messengers, and follow 
them to the high court, where the authorities of the place 
are assembled. Listen ye : The immortal king, wearied, it 
would seem, with the fatigues of royalty, has gone up to 
amuse himself in the celestial regions. His grandson, the 
heir-apparent, is seated on the throne. The young monarch 
enjoins on all to remain quiet, and wait his imperial orders. 

" It appears that the Prince of Toung Oo, one of his uncles, 
has been executed, with his family and adherents, and the 
Prince of Pyee placed in confinement. There has probably 
been bloody work ; but it seems, from what has transpired, 
that the business has been settled so expeditiously that the 
distant provinces will not feel the shock. 

^'/une 23. Had some encouraging conversation with 
Moung Thah-lah, a young man who has been living in our 
yard several months. He has lately made me several visits 
at the zayat, and appeared very thoughtful and teachable. 
To-day. on being asked the state of his mind, he replied, with 


some feeling, that he and all men were sinners, and exposed 
to future punishment ; that according to the Buddhist sys- 
tem, there was no way of pardon ; but that according to the 
religion which I taught, there was not only a way of pardon, 
but a way of enjoying endless happiness in heaven ; and that, 
therefore, he wanted to believe in Christ. I stated to him, as 
usual, that he must think much on the love of Christ, and 
pray to God for an enlightened and loving heart, and then 
gave him a form of prayer suited to his case. 

" In the female evening meeting, his sister, Ma Baik, whose 
husband also lives in our yard, manifested considerable feel- 
ing, especially when Mrs. Judson prayed with her alone, 
and expressed a strong desire to obtain an interest in the 

'''■June 27. Lord's day. There were several strangers pres- 
ent at worship. After the usual course, I called Moung Nau 
before me, read and commented on an appropriate portion 
of Scripture, asked him several questions concerning his 
faif/i, hope, and love, and made the baptismal prayer, having 
concluded to have all the preparatory exercises done in the 
zayat. We then proceeded to a large pond in the vicinity, 
the bank of which is graced with an enormous image of 
Gaudama, and there administered baptism to the first Burman 
convert. O, may it prove the beginning of a series of bap- 
tisms in the Burman empire which shall continue in uninter- 
rupted succession to the end of time ! 

"July 4. Lord's day. We have had the pleasure of sitting 
down, for the first time, to the Lord's table with a converted 
Burman ; and it was my privilege — a privilege to which I 
have been looking forward with desire for many years — to 
administer the Lord's supper in two languages. And now 
let me, in haste, close my journal for transmission to the 

Letter from Mrs. Judson. 

" Rangoon Mission-House, yzttie 2, 1819. 
" In my last, I mentioned Mr. Judson's commencing public 
preaching in a building which we had erected for that pur- 
pose, and which you will in future know by the name zayaf. 



Little did I think, when I last wrote, that I should so soon 
have the joyful intelligence to communicate that one Burman 
has embraced the Christian religion, and given good evidence 
of being a true disciple of the dear Redeemer. This event, 
this single trophy of victorious grace, has filled our hearts 
with sensations hardly to be conceived by Christians in 
Christian countries. This event has convinced us that 
God can and does operate on the minds of the most dark 
and ignorant, and that He makes His own truths. His own 
word, the instrument of operation. It serves to encourage us 
to hope that the Lord has other chosen ones in this place." 

"y>//)' lo. Some pleasant conversation with Moung Thah- 
lah. Seldom a day passes in which he does not spend an 
hour or two Avith me or Moung Nau. This man is rather 
superior to the common Burmans in point of abilities, and, 
though not very learned, he has read much more than the 
generality. He is much superior to any one resident on our 
premises, and, if converted, would be a valuable acquisition 
to the mission. 

^^ July 12. Considerable company all day. Moung E, 
whose name I have not yet mentioned, though he has made 
several visits, broke through his usual reserve, and acknowl- 
edged his love for this religion, and thought he should be- 
come a disciple, and not return to Tavoy, whence he lately 
came on some Government business. Moung Thah-lah ap- 
pears to be really earnest in his desires to become a disciple 
of Christ. 

^'July 19. Had some particular conversation with Moung 
Thah-lah on his spiritual state. He says that the more he 
reads and hears of the Christian religion, the more inclined 
he becomes to believe and embrace it, but fears that his 
weakness and sinfulness incapacitate him for keeping its 
holy precepts as it becomes a professing disciple. 

^^/uly 2g. Finished revising the tract for a new edition. 
Have considerably enlarged it, particularly by adding several 
prayers ; so that it now stands, ' A View of the Christian 
Religion, in four Parts, Historical, Practical, Preceptive, and 


Devotional.' We intend sending the manuscript to Seram- 
pore, with a request to brother Hough that he will get it 
printed in a large edition of five thousand copies. The first 
edition, of one thousand, is nearly exhausted. Such, indeed, 
is the demand for it since the opening of the zayat, that we 
should have given away all the copies long ago, had we not 
been doubtful about a fresh supply. 

^^Aiigust 7. Brother Wheelock embarked for Bengal, but 
in so low a state that we fear the voyage, instead of being 
beneficial, will tend to shorten his life. 

"August 8. Lord's day. Several strangers present at wor- 
ship ; a larger assembly than usual. 

"August 21. Have not lately mentioned Moung Thahlah, 
though he has continued to visit me regularly. To-day I 
had a conversation with him, that almost settled my mind 
that he is really a renewed man. He, however, thinks he is 
not, because he finds his heart so depraved that he can not 
perfectly keep the pure commands of Christ. 

"August 22. Lord's day. After worship, had another con- 
versation with Moung Thah-lah. He hopes that he is a dis- 
ciple of Jesus Christ in heart, but wants to know whether a 
profession of religion is indispensable to salvation. He fears 
the persecution that may hereafter come on those who for- 
sake the established religion of the empire. I gave him such 
explanation as I thought suitable, and left him with the 
solemn consideration, that unless he loved Christ above his 
own life, he did not love Him sincerely, and ought not to 
hope that He is interested in his redemption. 

"August 24. Another conversation with Moung Thah-lah, 
which at length forces me to admit the conviction that he is 
a real convert ; and I venture to set him down the second 
disciple of Christ among the Burmans. He appears to have 
all the characteristics of a new-born soul, and though rather 
timid in regard to an open profession, has, I feel satisfied, 
that love to Christ which will increase and bring him for- 
ward in due time. 

"August 2,1. A man, by name Moung Ing, has visited the 
zayat five or six days in succession. At first, a variety of 



Other company prevented my attending much to him, and he 
conversed chiefly with Moung Nau, and employed himself in 
reading Matthew. He once told Moung Nau that he had 
long been looking after the true religion, and was ready to 
wish that he had been born a brute, rather than to die in 
delusion, and go to hell. Sunday I conversed with him 
largely, and his attention during worship was very close and 
solemn. To-day he has made me half inclined to believe 
that a work of grace is begun in his soul. He says that he 
formerly had some idea of an eternal God from his mother, 
who was christened a Roman Catholic, in consequence of her 
connection with a foreigner ; but that the idea was never 
rooted in his mind until he fell in with the zayat. Within a 
few days he has begun to pray to this God. He is quite 
sensible of his sins, and of the utter inefhcacy of the Buddhist 
religion, but is yet in the dark concerning the way of salva- 
tion, and says that he wants to know more of Christ, that he 
may love Him more. Lord Jesus, give him the saving knowl- 
edge of Thine adorable self ! 

'■'•September i. Moung Thah-lah continues to express sim- 
ilar sentiments to those already noted ; is still afraid of per- 
secution and death, but professes to be laboring to obtain 
that love to Christ, and faith in Him, which will raise him 
above the fear of man ; and particularly requests us to pray 
that he may obtain these graces. 

^'■September 3. A great crowd of company through the 
whole day, the teacher Moungf Shwa-gnong, from ten o'clock 
till quite dark, with several of his adherents. He is a com- 
plete Proteus in religion, and I never know where to find 
him. We went over a vast deal of ground, and ended where 
we began, in apparent incredulity. After his adherents, how- 
ever, were all gone, he conversed with some feeling ; owned 
that he knew nothing, and wished me to instruct him ; and 
when he departed, he prostrated himself, and performed the 
sheeko — an act of homage which a Burman never performs 
but to an acknowledged superior. 

"After he was gone, Moung In^, who has been listening all 
day, followed me home to the house, being invited to stay 


with Moung Nau through the night. We conversed all the 
evening, and his expressions have satisfied us all that he is 
one of God's chosen people. His exercises have been of a 
much stronger character than those of the others, and he ex- 
presses himself in the most decided manner. He desires to 
become a disciple in profession, as well as to be in Christ, 
and declares his readiness to suffer persecution and death 
for the love of Christ. When I stated the danger to which 
he was exposing himself, and asked him whether he loved 
Christ better than his own life, he replied, very deliberately 
and solemnly, 'When I meditate on this religion, I know not 
what it is to love my own life.' Thus the poor fisherman, 
Moung Ing, is taken, while the learned teacher, Moung Shwa- 
gnong, is left. 

'■'■September 5. Lord's day. A very dull day — not one 
stranger present at worship. In the evening Moung Thah-lah 
was a spectator of our partaking of the Lord's supper. 
Moung Ing could not be present. He lives at some distance, 
and is getting ready to go to sea, pursuant to his purpose be- 
fore he became acquainted with us. We have endeavored 
to dissuade him from going, and to keep him near us ; but 
we are afraid that his circumstances will not allow him to 
comply with our advice and his own inclinations. 

" September 6. Spent the evening in conversing with 
Moung Byaa, a man who, with his family, has lived near us 
for some time, a regular attendant on worship, an indefati- 
gable scholar in the evening-s<?hool, where he has learned to 
read, though fifty years old, and a remarkably moral char- 
acter. In my last conversation, some time ago, he appeared 
to be a thorough legalist, relying solely on his good 
works, but yet sincerely desirous of knowing and embracing 
the truth. The greater part of the evening was spent in 
discussing his erroneous views ; his mind seemed so dark 
and dull of apprehension, that I was almost discouraged. 
Toward the close, however, he seemed to obtain some evan- 
gelical discoveries, and to receive the humbling truths of the 
Gospel in a manner which encourages us to hope that the 
Spirit of God has begun to teach him. The occasion of this 



conversation was my hearing that he said that he intended 
to become a Christian, and be baptized with Moung Thah-lah. 
He accordingly professes a full belief in the eternal God and 
His Son Jesus Christ. 

" September 7. Am grieved that Moung Ing comes no more. 
Presume he has gone off, contrary to our advice, and was 
reluctant to take leave of us under such circumstances. 

'■'■September 10. Surprised by a visit from Moung Ing. 
It appears that he has been confined at work on board the 
vessel in which he is engaged, and has not been ashore for 
several days. As the vessel is certainly going to-morrow, 
he got leave of absence for a short time, and improved it in 
running out to the zayat. I was exceedingly glad, as it 
afforded me an opportunity of giving him some parting in- 
structions, and praying with him alone. He appears very 
well indeed. He is quite distressed that he has so far en- 
gaged himself, and appears desirous of getting off, and 
returning to us, if possible ; but I have very little hope of his 
succeeding. I believe, however, that he is a real Christian, 
and that, whenever he dies, his immortal soul will be safe, 
and that he will praise God forever for his transient ac- 
quaintance with us. The Lord go with him and keep him. 

^'■September 11. Moung Shwa-gnong has been with me all 
day. It appears that he accidentally obtained the idea of 
an eternal Being about eight years ago ; and it has been 
floating about in his mind, and disturbing his Buddhistic 
ideas ever since. When he heard of us, which was through 
one of his adherents, to whom I had given a tract, this idea 
received considerable confirmation ; and to-day he has fully 
admitted the truth of this first grand principle. The latter 
part of the day we were chiefly employed in discussing the 
possibility and necessity of a divine revelation, and the evi- 
dence which proves that the writings of the apostles of Jesus, 
contain that revelation ; and I think I may say that he is 
half inclined to admit all this. He is certainly a most inter- 
esting case. The way seems to be prepared in his mind foi 
the special operation of divine grace. Come, Holy Spirit. 
heavenly Dove ! 


" His conversion seems peculiarly desirable, on account 
of his superior talents and extensive acquaintance with Bur- 
mese and Pali literature. He is the most powerful reasoner 
I have yet met with in this country, excepting my old 
teacher, Oo Oungmen (now dead), and he is not at all in- 
ferior to him. 

" September 26. Lord's day. Moung Shwa-gnong came, with 
several adherents. Some warm conversation before wor- 
ship, but nothing personal. During worship, discoursed 
from ' Fear not them that kill the body,' etc. My discourse 
was chiefly intended for Moung Thah-lah and Moung Byaa ; 
but the latter was absent on account of sickness. After wor- 
ship the teacher immediately departed with his people, with- 
out even saying a word. Fear he has taken some offence. 

" October 5. Received a visit from the teacher. My 
hopes of his conversion are very low. He is settling down 
in Deism, and evidently avoids all conversation of a per- 
sonal nature. 

" October 6. Conversation with Moung Thah - lah and 
Moung Byaa, which revives my hopes of their coming for- 
ward before long. They are both growing in religious 
knowledge, and give evidence of being in the exercise of 
gracious feelings. 

" October 7. Was rejoiced in the morning to see the 
teacher, Moung Shwa-gnong, come again so soon. We spent 
the whole day together, uninterrupted by other company. 
In the forenoon, he was as crabbed as possible ; sometimes 
a Berkeleian, sometimes a Humeite or complete skeptic. 
But in the afternoon he got to be more reasonable, and be- 
fore he left he obtained a more complete idea of the atone- 
ment than I have commonly been able to communicate to a 
Burman. He exclaimed, 'That is suitable; that is as it 
should be,' etc. But whether this conviction resulted from 
a mere philosophic view of the propriety and adaptedness 
of the way of salvation through Jesus Christ, or from the 
gracious operations of the Holy Spirit, time must discover. 
I hardly venture to hope the latter. O Lord, the work is 
Thine ! O come, Holy Spirit ! 



" October 23. Have for some days been wondering at the 
long absence of the teacher. To-day heard a report that he 
has been summoned by the viceroy to give an account of his 
heretical sentiments. 

"At night Moung Thah-lah and Moung Byaa presented a 
paper, professing their faith in Jesus Christ, and requesting to 
be baptized, but in private. We spent some time with them. 
They appear to have experienced divine grace ; but we ad- 
vised them, as they had so little love to Christ as not to dare 
to die for His cause, to wait and reconsider the matter. 

" October 29. The teacher came again, after an interval 
of three weeks ; but he appears to be quite another man. 
He has not been personally summoned, as we heard ; but, 
through the instigation of the Mangen teacher, he was men- 
tioned before the viceroy as having renounced the religion 
of the country. The viceroy gave no decisive order, but 
merely said, ' Inquire further about him.' This reached the 
ears of Moung Shwa-gnong ; and he directly went to the 
Mangen teacher, and, I suppose, apologized, and explained, 
and flattered. He denies that he really recanted, and I hope 
he did not ; but he is evidently falling off from the investiga- 
tion of the Christian religion. He made but a short visit, 
and took leave as soon as he could decently. 

^^ November i. One of the greatest festivals in the year. 
The crowds are truly immense and overwhelming. We va- 
cated the zayat, as we have several days of late, beginning to 
query whether it is prudent to go on boldly in proclaiming 
a new religion, at the hazard of incensing the Government, 
and drawing down such persecution as may deter all who 
know us from any inquiry. 

" November 6. The two candidates for baptism again pre- 
sented their urgent petition that they might be baptized, not 
absolutely in private, but about sunset, away from public 
observation. We spent some hours in again discussing the 
subject with them and with one another. We felt satisfied 
that they were humble disciples of Jesus, and were desirous 
of receiving this ordinance purely out of regard to His com- 
mand and their own spiritual welfare ; we felt that we were 


all equally exposed to danger, and needed a spirit of mutual 
candor, and forbearance, and sympathy ; we were convinced 
that they were influenced rather by desires of avoiding un- 
necessary exposure than by that sinful fear which would 
plunge them into apostasy in the hour of trial ; and when 
they assured us that, if actually brought before Government, 
they could not think of denying their Saviour, we could not 
conscientiously refuse their request, and therefore agreed to 
have them baptized to-morrow at sunset. The following is 
a literal translation of the paper presented this evening : 

" ' Moung Byaa and Moung Thah-lah venture to address 
the two teachers : Though the country of Burmah is very far 
distant from the country of America, yet the teachers, com- 
ing by ship the long way of six months, have arrived at this 
far distant country of Burmah, and town of Rangoon, and 
proclaimed the propitious news by means of which we, hav- 
ing become acquainted with the religion, know that there is 
an eternal God in heaven, and that there is a divine Son, the 
Lord Jesus Christ, deserving of the highest love ; and we 
know that the Lord Jesus Christ, the divine Son, endured, 
on account of all His disciples, sufferings and death, even 
severe sufferings on a cross, in their stead. On account of 
our sins, we were like persons laden with a very heavy 
burden. On account of our many sins, we found no deliver- 
ance, no place of refuge, and our minds were distressed. In 
this state remaining, the two teachers produced the sacred 
system from the Scriptures, and we became informed of the 
existence of the one God, and of the facts that the divine 
Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, redeemed with His sacred life 
all who love and trust in Him, and, in order to save His dis- 
ciples from hell, suffered death in their stead. Now we know 
that we have sinned against the sacred One, and we know, 
assuredly, that if we become disciples of the divine Son, the 
Lord Jesus Christ, we shall be saved from the hell which we 
deserve. We desire to become disciples, and with the two 
teachers, like children born of the same mother, to worship 
the true God, and observe the true religion. 

" ' On searching in the Scriptures for ancient rules and 



customs, it does not appear that John and other baptizers 
administered baptism on any particular time, or day, or 
hour. We, therefore, venture to beg of the two teachers, 
that they will grant that on the 6th day of the wane of the 
Tanzoungmong moon (November 7), at six o'clock at night, 
we may this once receive baptism at their hands.' 

" November 7. Lord's day. We had worship as usual, and 
the people dispersed. About half an hour before sunset, the 
two candidates came to the zayat, accompanied by three or 
four of their friends ; and after a short prayer, we proceeded 
to the spot where Moung Nau was formerly baptized. The 
sun was not allowed to look upon the humble, timid pro- 
fession. No wondering crowd crowned the overshadowing 
hill. No hymn of praise expressed the exultant feelings of 
joyous hearts. Stillness and solemnity pervaded the scene. 
We felt, on the banks of the water, as a little, feeble, solitary 
band. But perhaps some hovering angels took note of the 
event with more interest than they witnessed the late coro- 
nation ; perhaps Jesus looked down on us, pitied and forgave 
our weaknesses, and marked us for His own ; perhaps, if we 
deny Him not, He will acknowledge us, another day, more 
publicly than we venture at present to acknowledge Him. 

" In the evening we all united in commemorating the 
dying love of our Redeemer ; and I trust we enjoyed a little 
of His gracious presence in the midst of us. 

^^ November 10. This evening is to be marked as the date 
of the first Burman prayer-meeting that was ever held. 
None present but myself and the three converts. Two of 
them made a little beginning — such as must be expected 
from the first essay of converted heathens. We agreed to 
meet for this purpose every Tuesday and Friday evening, 
immediately after family worship, which in the evening has 
for some time been conducted in Burman and English, and 
which these people, and occasionally some others, have 

" November 14.. Lord's day. Have been much gratified to 
find that this evening the three converts repaired to the 



'■^December 4. Another visit from Moung Shwa-gnong 
After several hours spent in metaphysical cavils, he owned 
that he did not believe anything he had said, and had only 
been trying me and the religion, being determined to em- 
brace nothing but what he found unobjectionable and im- 
pregnable. ' What,' said he, ' do you think that I would pay 
you the least attention if I found you could not answer all 
my questions, and solve all my difficulties?' He then pro- 
ceeded to say, that he really believed in God, His Son Jesus 
Christ, the atonement, etc. Said I, knowing his deistical 
weakness, ' Do you believe all that is contained in the book 
of Matthew, that I have given you ? In particular, do you 
believe that the Son of God died on a cross ? ' ' Ah,' replied 
he, ' you have caught me now. I believe that He suffered 
death, but I can not admit that He suffered the shameful 
death of the cross.' ' Therefore,' said I, ' you are not a dis- 
ciple of Christ. A true disciple inquires not whether a fact 
is agreeable to his own reason, but whether it is in the book. 
His pride has yielded to the divine testimony. Teacher, 
your pride is still unbroken. Break down your pride, 
and yield to the word of God.' He stopped and thought. 
'As you utter those words,' said he, ' I see my error. I have 
been trusting in my own reason, not in the word of God.' 
Some interruption now occurred. When we were again 
alone, he said, ' This day is different from all the days on 
which I have visited you. I see my error in trusting in my 
own reason ; and I now believe the crucifixion of Christ, be- 
cause It is contained in the Scripture.' Some time after, 
speaking of the uncertainty of life, he said he thought he 
should not be lost, though he died suddenly. Why ? ' Be- 
cause I love Jesus Christ.' ' Do you really love Him ? ' ' No 
one that really knows Him can help loving Him.' And so 
he departed." 

Just at this most interesting period, when three Burmans 
had been baptized and many others were inquiring into the 
new religion, the black cloud of persecution gathered over the 
heads of these young converts and their Christian teachers. 



The viceroy of Rangoon regarded with an unfavorable 
eye this attempt to introduce a new religion. When in- 
formed that a prominent Burman teacher was about to re- 
nounce the religion of the empire, he uttered the ominous 
sentence: "Inquire further." These words scattered the 
group of inquirers that had gathered about Mr. Judson as 
quickly as the lifted hand disperses a school of fish. The 
new converts, indeed, stood firm even under the peril of the 
confiscation of their goods, and the risk of torture and 
death ; but the work had come to a standstill. The in- 
habitants of Rangoon did not even dare to visit the foreign 
teacher. In these circumstances the boldest measure seemed 
to Mr. Judson the wisest. He determined to beard the 
lion in his lair. He resolved to go directly to Ava, the 
capital of Burmah, and lay the whole matter at the feet of 
the emperor. If he could gain from the Burman monarch 
permission to propagate the Christian religion among his 
subjects, then he would be at once exempt from the annoy- 
ance and persecution inflicted by provincial underlings. If, 
on the other hand, he should fail, matters could not be 
made any worse, as news of this religious movement would 
soon get to the ears of the king. The nature of the threat- 
ening persecution, and the reasons for going to Ava, may 
be learned from Mr. Judson's letters and journals : 

To the Rev. Dr. Baldimit. 

" Rangoon, Atigust 26, 181 7. 
" Rev. and dear Sir : I am at present wholly absorbed in 
the dictionary. I hope to have it finished by the time that 
brother Rice arrives. The rains make it difficult for me to 
go out much ; and, for the same reason, we have not many 
Burman visitors in our insulated situation. Even those who 
have visited us frequently, and acquired some knowledge of 
our religion, and manifested some spirit of inquiry, are de- 
terred from prosecuting their inquiries by fear of persecution. 
I do not mean to imply that all persecution is to be dreaded, 
but that persecution which would effectually prevent the use 

144 ^^^^ ^^^" ^^ ADONIRAM JUDSON. 

of the means of grace certainly is. It is true that God will 
call those whom He has chosen ; but since He has made 
means necessary to the end, since it is by the Gospel of His 
Son that He calls His people, it is certainly as much the duty 
of His servants to endeavor to avert such persecution as 
would effectually prevent the use of means as it is to use any 
means at all ; and we may reasonably conclude that, when 
God has a people whom He is about to call, He will direct 
His servants in such a course. 

" I have no doubt that God is preparing the way for the 
conversion of Burmah to His Son. Nor have I any doubt 
that we who are now here are, in some little degree, con- 
tributing to this glorious event. This thought fills me with 
joy. I know not that I shall live to see a single convert ; but, 
notwithstanding, I feel that I would not leave my present 
situation to be made a king." 

Extract from Mr. Judson's Journal. 

" One malicious intimation to the king would occasion our 
banishment ; and banishment, as the Burmans tell us, is no 
small thing, being attended with confiscation of all property, 
and such various abuses as would make us deem ourselves 
happy to escape with our lives. 

" We feel encouraged by the thought that many of the dear 
children of God remember us at the mercy-seat. To your 
prayers I desire once more to commend myself — the weakest, 
the most unqualified, the most unworthy, and the most un- 
successful of all missionaries. 

^^November 26. On taking our usual ride this morning to 
bathe in the mineral tank, we were accosted, on one of the 
pagoda roads, by the Mangen teacher, and peremptorily for- 
bidden to ride there in future on pain of being beaten. 

" Our business must be fairly laid before the emperor. If 
he frown upon us, all missionary attempts within his domin- 
ions will be out of the question. If he favor us, none of our 
enemies, during the continuance of his favor, can touch a hair 
of our heads. But there is a greater than the emperor, before 
whose throne we desire daily and constantly to lay this 


business. O Lord Jesus, look upon us in our low estate, and 
guide us in our dangerous course ! " 

Extract from a letter to Dr. Baldwin. 

" Rangoon, December 9, 1819. 

" Rev. and dear Sir : Since my last we have had the hap- 
piness of baptizing two more Burmans, whose names are 
Moung Thah-lah and Moung Byaa ; the former a young man 
of considerable talents and reading ; the latter an old man 
of fifty, who has been learning to read in an evening-school. 
Moung Nau, the first convert, continues faithfully attached 
to the cause. Our fourth is a poor fisherman, whose exer- 
cises for a few days have been very strong and satisfactory, 
but he was obliged to go to sea before we thought it advis- 
able to give him baptism. Our fifth is still an inquirer 
merely, a teacher, of learning and distinction, and possessed 
of the very first abilities. But soon after he began to mani- 
fest an open attachment to us, Satan became unusually dis- 
turbed, and sent one of his faithful servants to the viceroy 
with a complaint that our friend had renounced the religion 
of the country. The viceroy said, ' Inquire further,' and 
this portentous sentence, implying that a renunciation of the 
established religion would not pass with impunity, carried 
such terror to the heart of our poor Nicodemus, that he 
directly fled to his accuser, made his peace with him, and 
almost forsook us. This little circumstance, strange as it 
may seem to one living under a free government, spread dis- 
may among all our acquaintance, and for above a month we 
have been nearly deserted by all, except those who have act- 
ually joined us. 

" The new king, moreover, has remitted the persecution of 
his grandfather, and restored the priests of Buddh to their 
former privileges ; so that all the devout throughout the 
land are quite mad on their idols. 

" In a word, such is the state of things that though there 
are many, I am certain, who have some desire to inquire 
further into the Christian religion, they are afraid to come 
near us. 



" Brother Colman and myself have, therefore, conduded 
to follow your advice, by going up to Ava, and laying our 
business before the monarch. We have some hope that the 
Lord will incline him to hold out to us the golden sceptre, 
like another Ahasuerus, and become a protector of the infant 
cause. But it is almost too great a favor to hope for. And 
yet this favor we must obtain, or relinquish some of our 
dearest and most sacred hopes. Oh, what a trying case ! 
None can know or experience the uncertainty of our present 
situation. But we sometimes rest on the Saviour and derive 
sweet consolation from the assurance that 'our Jesus will do 
all things well.' " 

Before Mr. Judson and Mr. Colman set out for Ava, the 
little group of missionaries was thinned by the departure of 
the Wheelocks. Only seven days after Mr. Wheelock ar- 
rived in Rangoon, while engaged in family worship he had 
a hemorrhage, and on August 7, 18 19, he set sail for Bengal. 
After being thirteen days at sea, during a period of tempo- 
rary delirium he threw himself into the ocean. While Mrs. 
Wheelock was engaged in writing, and he apparently lying 
asleep, she heard the cabin door close. She looked around, 
saw that he was gone, sprang to the door, opened it, and 
discovered that he had vanished forever from her sight. 
The ship was sailing with such speed that no effort could be 
made to rescue him. The death of this young man was a 
great loss to the infant mission. His fervent piety, his 
sweet and uncomplaining spirit, and his devotion to the 
work of saving the heathen, had endeared him to his mis- 
sionary associates. After mentioning in one of his letters 
that he and Mr. Colman had only one room each, he adds : 
" We prefer ONE room in Rangoon to six in Boston. We 
feel that we are highly blessed^ 



On December 21, 18 19, Mr. Judson and Mr. Colman, 
leaving their wives alone in Rangoon, began their journey 
up the Irrawaddy to Ava, the capital of the empire. The 
following extract from Mr. Judson's journal describes their 
journey up the river, their unsuccessful visit at the royal 
court, and their return to Rangoon: 

^^ December 10. A few days ago we succeeded in purchas- 
ing a boat for the journey to Ava, after having spent a whole 
week in the search. Have since been employing workmen 
to cover it and put it in order. 

" Yesterday we applied to the viceroy for a pass to go up 
to the golden feet, and lift up our eyes to the golden face. 
He granted our request in very polite terms. 

" I must now close up my journal, to be sent on board ship 
to-morrow morning. We expect to leave Rangoon in about 
a week. My next will probably contain some account of our 
journey up the river, and our reception at court. O Lord, 
send 710W prosperity ; yet not my will, but Thine, be done." 


^^ December 21. After having made arrangements for our 
wives* residence in town during our absence, brother Colman 
and myself embarked. Our boat is six feet wide in the mid- 
dle, and forty feet long. A temporary deck of bamboos is 
laid throughout, and on the hinder part of the boat the sides 
are raised with thin boards, and a covering of thatch, and 



mats tied on, so as to form two low rooms, in which we can 
just sit and lie down. Our company consists of sixteen be- 
sides ourselves : ten rowmen, a steersman, a head man — 
whose name is inserted in our passport, and who, therefore, 
derives a little authority from Government — a steward or 
cook for the company — which place is filled by our trusty 
Moung Nau — our own cook, a Hindoo washerman, and an 
Englishman, who, having been unfortunate all his life, wishes 
to try the service of his Burman majesty ; and this last per- 
sonage may be called our gunner, he having charge of sev- 
eral guns and blunderbusses, which are indispensable on ac- 
count of the robbers that infest the river. 

" We have been much perplexed in fixing on a present for 
the emperor, without which no person unauthorized can ap- 
pear in his presence. Our funds were evidently inadequate 
to the purchase of articles which would be valuable to him 
in a pecuniary point of view ; when we considered, also, that 
there ought to be a congruity between the present and our 
character, we selected that book which we hope to be allowed 
to translate under his patronage, the Bible, in six volumes, 
covered with gold leaf, in Burman style, and each volume 
enclosed in a rich wrapper. For presents to other members 
of Government, w^e have taken several pieces of fine cloth 
and other articles. 

" Thus manned and furnished we pushed off from the 
shores of Rangoon. The teacher, Moung Shwa-gnong, had 
not been to see us for several days, ashamed, probably, of 
having declined accompanying us ; but just as we were push- 
ing off, we saw his tall form standing on the wharf. He 
raised his hand to his head, and bade us adieu, and continued 
looking after the boat until a projecting point shut Rangoon 
and all its scenes from our view. When shall we redouble 
this little point ? Through what shall we pass ere the scene 
now snatched away be re-presented ? The expedition on 
which we have entered, however it may terminate, is una- 
voidably fraught with consequences momentous and solemn 
beyond all conception. We are penetrating into the heart of 
one of the great kingdoms of the world, to make a formal 


offer of the Gospel to a despotic monarch, and through him 
to the millions of his subjects. May the Lord accompany us, 
and crown our attempt with the desired success, if it be con- 
sistent with His wise and holy will. 

"At night we moored by the banks of Kyee-myen-daing. 
It was near this place that, a few days ago, one of the boats 
belonging to Mr. G., late collector of Rangoon, was attacked 
by robbers, and the steersman and another man killed at a 
single shot. We felt unwilling to remain at this village, but 
found it necessary. 

" On the 30th reached Kah-noung, a considerable town, 
about ninety miles from Rangoon. Here we met a special 
officer from Bassein, with a detachment of men, sent in pur- 
suit of a band of robbers who lately made a daring attack 
on a large boat, wounded and beat off the people, and took 
plunder to the amount of fifteen hundred ticals. The com- 
mander offered us an escort for the journey of to-morrow, 
which lies through a dangerous tract of country ; but we de- 
clined accepting, as we should have been obliged to give the 
people presents, without deriving any substantial assistance 
in the hour of danger. Strict watch all night. 

'''■ Jamtary 17, 1820. Reached Pugan, a city celebrated in 
Burman history, being, like Pyee, the seat of a former dy- 
nasty. It is about two hundred and sixty miles from Ran- 

^'•Jamiary 18. Took a survey of the splendid pagodas 
and extensive ruins in the environs of this once famous city. 
Ascended as far as possible some of the highest edifices, and, 
at the height of one hundred feet, perhaps, beheld all the 
country round, covered with temples and monuments of 
every sort and size ; some in utter ruin, some fast decaying, 
and some exhibiting marks of recent attention and repair. 
The remains of the ancient wall of the city stretched beneath 
us. The pillars of the gates, and many a grotesque, decapi- 
tated relic of antiquity checkered the motley scene. All 
conspired to suggest those elevated and mournful ideas 
which are attendant on a view of the decaying remains of 
ancient grandeur ; and, though not comparable to such ruins 


as those of Palmyra and Balbec (as they are represented), 
still deeply interesting to the antiquary, and more deeply 
interesting to the Christian missionary. Here, about eight 
hundred years ago, the religion of Buddh was first publicly 
recognized and established as the religion of the empire. 
Here, then, Ah-rah-han, the first Buddhist apostle of Burmah, 
under the patronage of King Anan-ra-tha-men-zan, dissemi- 
nated the doctrines of atheism, and taught his disciples to 
pant after annihilation, as the supreme good. Some of the 
ruins before our eyes were probably the remains of pagodas 
designed by himself. We looked back on the centuries of 
darkness that are past. We looked forward, and Christian 
hope would fain brighten the prospect. Perhaps we stand 
on the dividing line of the empires of darkness and light. 
O shade of Ah-rah-han, weep over thy falling fanes ; retire 
from the scenes of thy past greatness. But thou smilest at 
my feeble voice. Linger, then, thy little remaining day. A 
voice mightier than mine, a still small voice, will ere long 
sweep away every vestige of thy dominion. The churches 
of Jesus will soon supplant these idolatrous monuments, and 
the chanting of the devotees of Buddh will die away before 
the Christian hymn of praise. 

^^ January 25. Passed Old Ava, the seat of the dynasty 
immediately preceding the present, and Tsah-gaing, a place 
of some note, distinguished for its innumerable pagodas, and 
the residence of one or two late emperors, and about noon 
drew up to O-ding-man, the lower landing-place of New Ava, 
or Amarapoora, about three hundred and fifty miles from 
Rangoon. At our present distance of nearly four miles from 
the city (and we can not get nearer this season), it appears 
to the worst advantage. We can hardly distinguish the 
golden steeple of the palace amid the glittering pagodas, 
whose summits just suffice to mark the spot of our ultimate 

"January 26. We set out early in the morning, called on 
Mr. G., late collector of Rangoon, and on Mr. R., who was 
formerly collector, but is now out of favor. Thence we en- 
tered the city, passed the palace, and repaired to the house 



of Mya-day-men, former viceroy of Rangoon, now one of the 
public ministers of state (vvoon-gyee). We gave him a vahi- 
able present, and another of less value to his wife, the lady 
who formerly treated Mr. G. with so much politeness. They 
both received us very kindly, and appeared to interest them- 
selves in our success. We, however, did not disclose our 
precise object, but only petitioned leave to behold the golden 
face. Upon this, his highness committed our business to 
Moung Yo, one of his favorite officers, and directed him to 
introduce us to Moung Zah, one of the private ministers of 
state (a-twen-woon), with the necessary orders. This partic- 
ular favor of Mya-day-men prevents the necessity of our 
petitioning and feeing all the public ministers of state, and 
procuring formal permission from the high court of the 

" In the evening, Moung Yo, who lives near our boat, called 
on us to say that he would conduct us to-morrow. We lie 
down in sleepless anxiety. To-morrow's dawn will usher in 
the most eventful day of our lives. To-morrow's eve will 
close on the bloom or the blight of our fondest hopes. Yet 
it is consoling to commit this business into the hands of our 
heavenly Father — to feel that the work is His, not ours ; that 
the heart of the monarch before whom we are to appear is 
under the control of Omnipotence ; and that the event w'xVi 
be ordered in the manner most conducive to the divine glory 
and the greatest good. God may, for the wisest purposes, 
suffer our hopes to be disappointed ; and if so, why should 
short-sighted mortal man repine ? Thy will, O God, be ever 
done ; for Thy will is inevitably the wisest and the best. 

^^ January 27, We left the boat, and put ourselves under 
the conduct of Moung Yo. He carried us first to Mya-day- 
men, as a matter of form ; and there we learned that the 
emperor had been privately apprised of our arrival, and said, 
' Let them be introduced.' We therefore proceeded to the 
palace. At the outer gate we were detained a long time, 
until the various officers were satisfied that we had a right to 
enter, after which we deposited a present for the private 
minister of state, Moung Zah, and were ushered into his 


apartments in the palace yard. He received us very pleas- 
antly, and ordered us to sit before several governors and 
petty kings, who were waiting at his levee. We here, for 
the first time, disclosed our character and object — told him 
that we were missionaries, or ' propagators of religion '; that 
we wished to appear before the emperor, and present our 
sacred books, accompanied with a petition. He took the 
petition into his hand, looked over about half of it, and then 
familiarly asked some questions about our God and our re- 
ligion, to which we replied. Just at this crisis, some one 
announced that the golden foot was about to advance ; on 
which the minister hastily rose up, and put on his robes of 
state, saying that he must seize the moment to present us to 
the emperor. We now found that we had unwittingly fallen 
on an unpropitious time, it being the day of the celebration 
of the late victory over the Kathays, and the very hour when 
his majesty was coming forth to witness the display made on 
the occasion. When the minister was dressed, he just said, 
' How can you propagate religion in this empire ? But come 
along.' Our hearts sank at these inauspicious words. He 
conducted us through various splendor and parade, until we 
ascended a flight of stairs, and entered a most magnificent 
hall. He directed us where to sit, and took his place on one 
side ; the present was placed on the other ; and Moung Yo 
and another officer of M)^a-day-men sat a little behind. The 
scene to which we were now introduced really surpassed our 
expectation. The spacious extent of the hall, the number 
and magnitude of the pillars, the height of the dome, the 
whole completely covered with gold, presented a most grand 
and imposing spectacle. Very few were present, and those 
evidently great officers of state. Our situation prevented us 
from seeing the farther avenue of the hall ; but the end where 
we sat opened into the parade which the emperor was about 
to inspect. We remained about five minutes, when every one 
put himself into the most respectful attitude, and Moung Yo 
whispered that his majesty had entered. We looked through 
the hall as far as the pillars would allow, and presently 
caught sight of this modern Ahasuerus. He came forward 


unattended — in solitary grand .'ur — exhibiting the proud 
gait and majesty of an Eastern monarch. His dress was 
rich, but not distinctive ; and he carried in his hand the gold- 
sheathed sword, which seems to have taken the place of the 
sceptre of ancient times. But it was his high aspect and 
commanding eye that chiefl}^ riveted our attention. He 
strided on. Every head excepting ours was now in the dust. 
We remained kneeling, our hands folded, our eyes fixed on 
the monarch. When he drew near, we caught his attention. 
He stopped, partly turned toward us — 'Who are these?' 
'The teachers, great king,' I replied. 'What, you speak 
Burman — the priests that I heard of last night ? ' ' When 
did you arrive?' 'Are you teachers of religion?' 'Are you 
like the Portuguese priest ?' 'Are you married ? ' 'Why do 
you dress so?' These and some other similar questions we 
answered, when he appeared to be pleased with us, and sat 
down on an elevated seat, his hand resting on the hilt of his 
sword, and his eyes intently fixed on us. Moung Zah now 
began to read the petition ; and it ran thus : 

'"The American teachers present themselves to receive the favor of 
the excellent king, the sovereign of land and sea. Hearing that, on 
account of the greatness of the royal power, the royal country was in a 
quiet and prosperous state, we arrived at the town of Rangoon, within 
the royal dominions, and having obtained leave of the governor of that 
town to come up and behold the golden face, we have ascended and 
reached the bottom of the golden feet. In the great country of America, 
we sustain the character of teachers and explainers of the contents ol 
the sacred Scriptures of our religion. And since it is contained in those 
Scriptures, that, if we pass to other countries, and preach and propagate 
religion, great good will result, and both those who teach and those who 
receive the religion will be freed from future punishment, and enjoy, with- 
out decay or death, the eternal felicity of heaven — that royal permission 
be given, that we, taking refuge in the royal power, may preach our 
religion in these dominions, and that those who are pleased with our 
preaching, and wish to listen to and be guided by it, whether foreigners 
or Burmans, may be exempt from Government molestation, they present 
themselves to receive the favor of the excellent king, the sovereign ot 
land and sea.' " 

The emperor heard this petition, and stretched out his 


hand. Moung Zah crawled forward and presented it. His 
majesty began at the top, and deliberately read it through. 
In the meantime, I gave Moung Zah an abridged copy of 
the tract, in which every offensive sentence was corrected, and 
the whole put into the handsomest style and dress possible. 
After the emperor had perused the petition, he handed it 
back without saying a word, and took the tract. Our hearts 
now rose to God for a display of His grace. ' Oh, have mercy 
on Burmah ! Have mercy on her king.' But, alas ! the 
time was not yet come. He held the tract long enough to 
read the first two sentences, which assert that there is one 
eternal God, who is independent of the incidents of mortality, 
and that beside Him, there is no God ; and then, with an air 
of indifference, perhaps disdain, he dashed it down to the 
ground. Moung Zah stooped forward, picked it up, and 
handed it to us. Moung Yo made a slight attempt to save 
us by unfolding one of the volumes, which composed our 
present, and displaying its beauty ; but his majesty took no 
notice. Our fate was decided. After a few moments, Moung 
Zah interpreted his royal master's will, in the following 
terms: 'Why do you ask for such permission? Have not 
the Portuguese, the English, the Mussulmans, and people of 
all other religions, full liberty to practice and worship accord- 
ing to their own customs ? In regard to the objects of your 
petition, his majesty gives no order. In regard to your sa- 
cred books, his majesty has no use for them ; take them 

"Something was now said about brother Colman's skill in 
medicine ; upon which the emperor once more opened his 
mouth, and said, ' Let them proceed to the residence of my 
physician, the Portuguese priest ; let him examine whether 
they can be useful to me in that line, and report accordingly.' 
He then rose from his seat, strided on to the end of the hall, 
and there, after having dashed to the ground the first intelli- 
gence that he had ever received of the eternal God, his Maker, 
his Preserver, his Judge, he threw himself down on a cushion, 
and lay listening to the music, and gazing at the parade 
spread out before him. 


"As for us and our present, we were huddled up and hur- 
ried away, without much ceremony. We passed out of the 
palace gates with much more facility than we entered, and 
were conducted first to the house of Mya-day-men. There 
his officer reported our reception, but in as favorable terms 
as possible ; and as his highness was not apprised of our 
precise object, our repulse appeared probably to him not so 
decisive as we knew it to be. We were next conducted two 
miles through the heat of the sun and dust of the streets of 
Ava, to the residence of the Portuguese priest. He very 
speedily ascertained that we were in possession of no won- 
derful secret, which would secure the emperor from all dis- 
ease, and make him live forever ; and we were accordingly 
allowed to take leave of the reverend inquisitor, and retreat 
to our boat. 

"At this stage of the business, notwithstanding the de- 
cided repulse we had received, we still cherished some hope 
of ultimately gaining our point. We regretted that a sud- 
den interruption had prevented our explaining our objects 
to Moung Zah in that familiar and confidential manner which 
we had intended ; and we determined, therefore, to make 
another attempt upon him in private. 

''January 28. Early in the morning we had the pleasure 
of seeing our friend Mr. G. coming to our boat. It may not 
be amiss to mention that he is the collector who was chiefly 
instrumental in relieving us from the exorbitant demand 
which, a few months ago, was made upon us in Rangoon. 
He now told us that he had heard of our repulse, but would 
not have us give up all hope ; that he was particularly ac- 
quainted with Moung Zah, and would accompany us to his 
house, a little before sunset, at an hour when he was acces- 
sible. This precisely accorded with our intentions. 

" In the afternoon, therefore, we called on Mr. G., and he 
went with us into the city. On the way we paid a visit to 
the wife of the present viceroy of Rangoon, whose eldest 
son is married to the only daughter of the present emperor. 
We carried a present, and were, of course, kindly received. 

" Thence we went to the house of Moung Zah, some way 


beyond the palace. He received us with great coldness and 
reserve. The conversation, which we carried on chiefly 
through Mr. G., it is unnecessary to detail. Suffice it to say, 
that we ascertained beyond a doubt, that the policy of the 
Burman Government, in regard to the toleration of any for- 
eign religion, is precisely the same with the Chinese ; that 
it is quite out of the question, whether any of the subjects 
of the emperor, who embrace a religion different from his 
own, will be exempt from punishment ; and that we, in pre- 
senting a petition to that effect, had been guilty of a most 
egregious blunder, an unpardonable offence. Mr. G. urged 
every argument that we suggested, and some others. He 
finally stated that, if we obtained the royal favor, other 
foreigners would come and settle in the empire, and trade 
would be greatly benefited. This argument alone seemed 
to have any effect on the mind of the minister, and looking 
out from the cloud which covered his face, he vouchsafed to 
say, that if we would wait some time, he would endeavor to 
speak to his majesty about us. From this remark it was im- 
possible to derive any encouragement ; and having nothing 
further to urge, we left Mr. G., and bowing down to the 
ground, took leave of this great minister of state, who, under 
the emperor, guides the movements of the whole empire. 

" It was now evening. We had four miles to walk by moon- 
light. Two of our disciples only followed us. They had 
ventured as near as they durst to the door of the hall of 
audience, and listened to words which sealed the extinction 
of their hope and ours. For some time we spoke not. 

" ' Some natural tears we dropped, but wiped them soon ; 
The world was all before us, where to choose 
Our place of rest, and Providence our guide.' 

And as our first parents took their solitary way through 
Eden, hand in hand, so we took our way through this great 
city, which, to our late imagination, seemed another Eden, 
but now, through the magic touch of disappointment, seemed 
blasted and withered, as if smitten by the fatal influence of 
the cherubic sword. 



"Arrived at the boat, we threw ourselves down, completely 
exhausted in body and mind. For three days we had walked 
eight miles a day, the most of the way in the heat of the sun, 
which, even at this season, in the interior of these countries, 
is exceedingly oppressive, and the result of our travels and 
toils has been — the wisest and best possible ; a result which. 
if we could see the end from the beginning, would call forth 
our highest* praise. O, slow of heart to believe and trust in 
the constant presence and overruling agency of our own 
almighty Saviour. 

'■^Janicary 29. We again rose early, and, having consid- 
ered the last words of Moung Zah, wrote down our request 
in the most concise and moderate terms, and sent it to Mr. G. 
with a message that he would once more see Moung Zah, lay 
the paper before him, and ascertain unequivocally whether 
there was any possibility of gaining our point by waiting 
several months. 

" The rest of the day, and the next, being Lord's da}^, we 
remained in the boat. 

"Jaimary 31. Afonday. Mr. G. called upon us, with our 
little paper in his hand. ' I have shown your paper to 
Moung Zah, and begged him not to deceive you, but to say 
distinctly what hopes you might be allowed to entertain. 
He replied, " Tell them that there is not the least possibility 
oi obtaining the object stated in this paper, should they 
wait ever so long ; therefore let them go about their busi- 
ness." ' 

" I now thought of one more expedient ; and taking out 
the manuscript tract the emperor threw down, I handed it 
to Mr. G. 'This is a brief view of the Christian religion. 
Do you present it, in our name, to Moung Zah, and persuade 
him to read it, or hear it read. We have indeed no hope of 
its efficacy ; but it is our last resort, and God may help us in 
the extremity.' He took it with some feeling, and promised 
to do his best. 

" Before leaving us, he communicated the important intel- 
ligence that the emperor, flushed with his late victory over 
the Kathays, had determined on war with Siam, and intended 


next fall to march in person to Pegu, and there establish his 

"After Mr. G. left us, we went to visit Mr. R. We were 
formerly acquainted with him in Rangoon, and he would 
now have assisted us had he not been out of the favor of the 
new emperor. We related all our proceedings, and the dis- 
appointment of our hopes. ' I knew it would be so,' replied 
he, ' when you first called on me ; but I was ncft willing to 
discourage you from making trial for yourselves.' He then 
related the following story, with the substance of which we 
were previously acquainted : 

" ' About fifteen years ago, the Roman Catholic priests converted to 
their faith a Burman teacher of talents and distinction. They took great 
pains to indoctrinate him thoroughly in their religion, and entertained 
great hope of his usefulness in their cause. After his retui^n from Rome, 
whither they had sent him to complete his Christian education, he was 
accused by his nephew, a clerk in the high court of the empire, of having 
renounced the established religion. The emperor, who, it must be 
remembered, was far from approving the religion of Buddh, ordered 
that he should be compelled to recant. The nephew seized his uncle, 
cast him into prison and fetters, caused him to be beaten and tortured 
continually, and at length had recourse to the torture of the iron mall. 
With this instrument he was gradually beaten, from the ends of his feet 
up to his breast, until his body was little else than one livid wound. Mr. R. 
was one of those that stood by and gave money to the executioners to 
induce them to strike gently. At every blow, the sufferer pronounced 
the name of Christ, and declared afterward that he felt little or no 
pain. When he was at the point of death, under the hands of his tor- 
mentors, some persons who pitied his case went to the emperor with a 
statement that he was a madman, and knew not what he was about ; 
on which the emperor gave orders for his release. The Portuguese took 
him away, concealed him until he was able to move, then sent him pri- 
vately in a boat to Rangoon, and thence by ship to Bengal, where he 
finished his days. Since then, the Roman priests, of whom there are 
four only in the country, have done nothing in the way of proselyting, 
but confined their labors to their own flocks, which are composed of the 
descendants of foreigners. The man who accused his uncle is now the 
very first of the private ministers of state, taking rank before Moung 
Zah. Furthermore, the present chief queen, who has great influence 
with his majesty, is, and ever has been, particularly attached to the relig- 
ion and the priests of Buddh.' 



" Mr. R. also confirmed the information we Iiad received of 
approaching war with Siam. 

" Our case could not be more desperate. We directly re- 
turned to the boat, and ordered our people to sell off all un- 
necessary articles, and be ready to start as soon as our pass- 
port could be obtained. 

" February i. Went to Mya-day-men and applied for a 
passport to Rangoon. He appeared willing to oblige us, but 
said we must make formal application to Moung Zah. 

" February 2. Went to various places, and made various 
inquiries and applications for a passport. Ascertained that 
it was absolutely necessary, in our case, to procure a special 
one from the high court of the empire. 

"February 3. Sent our head man and some of our people 
with a petition to Moung Zah. After they had gone off, wc 
called on Mr. G. He informed us that the tract had been 
presented to Moung Zah, and read in his presence. After 
listening to the whole of it, instead of throwing it down, or 
even returning it, he committed it to one of his people to 
keep, saying to Mr. G., ' The doctrines and commands are 
very good ; but it will be a long time before Burmans can be 
convinced that there is a God and Saviour.' After this inter- 
view with Moung Zah, Mr. G. was summoned before the 
emperor. His majesty, among other things, inquired about 
the foreign teachers. Mr. G. told him our country, our char- 
acter, and our object. The emperor observed that the 
Portuguese priest had told him very different things, par- 
ticularly that we were a sect of Zandees (a race very ob- 
noxious to former emperors). Mr. G. endeavored to vindi- 
cate our character, but the emperor appeared quite averse to 
hearing anything in our favor. 'What,' said he, laughing, 
' they have come presuming to convert us to their religion. 
Let them leave our capital. We have no desire to receive 
their instructions. Perhaps they may find some of their 
countrymen in Rangoon who may be willing to listen to 

" Mr. G. now advised us to obtain a royal order protecting 
us personally from molestation while we should remain in 


the country. ' Otherwise,' said he, ' as it will be notorious tha»- 
3-ou have solicited royal patronage, and been refused, you 
will lie at the mercy of every ill-disposed person.' 

" This suggestion of Mr. G. occupied our thoughts the rest 
of the day. We finally concluded that, as such an order 
would cost several hundred ticals, we would prefer trusting 
in the Lord to keep us and our poor disciples. 

" At night our people returned. They had found Moung 
Zah, and presented the petition for a passport, to which he 
made no other reply but ' Come to-morrow.' 

" February 4. Sent the people, early in the morning, with 
a handsome present to Moung Zah. They returned late at 
night. He accepted the present, and assured them he would 
do our business to-morrow. 

'■'^ February 5. Sent the people as usual, our trusty Moung 
Nau accompanying them, with a quantity of silver. This did 
the business. Late in the evening I had the pleasure of 
taking into my hand the pointed palm-leaf. It has cost us 
the value of thirty dollars. 

^^ February 6. Pushed off from the beach of O-ding-man. 
I could moralize half an hour on the apt resemblance, the 
beautiful congruity between the desolate state of our feelings 
and the sandy, barren surface of this miserable beach. But 
* 'tis idle all.' Let the beach and our sorrow go together. 
Something better will turn up to-morrow. 

'^ February 12. Reached Pyee, two hundred and thirty 
miles from Ava ; our descent on the river being, of course, 
much more rapid than our ascent. Here, to our great sur- 
prise, we met with the teacher, Moung Shwa-gnong. He had 
come up from Rangoon, a few days ago, to visit an old ac- 
quaintance, who was dangerously ill ; expects to return 
shortly ; would gladly go with us, if we could wait a day or 
two. We stated to him all our adventures at court, the dis- 
tressing result of the expedition, and the present dJinger of 
propagating or professing the religion of Christ, and wound 
off with the story of the iron mall. He appeared to be less 
affected and intimidated by the relation than we could have 
expected. Indeed, his language was rather too high for the 


occasion. I therefore told him that it was not for him that 
we were concerned, but for those who had become disciples 
of Christ. When they were accused and persecuted, they 
could not worship at the pagodas, or recant before the Mangen 
teacher. He felt the force of the reflection, and tried to ex- 
plain his past conduct. 'Say nothing,' said I; 'one thing 
you know to be true — that, when formerly accused, if you 
had not, in some way or other, satisfied the mind of the 
Mangen teacher, your life would not now be remaining in 
your body.' 'Then,' said he, 'if I must die, I shall die in a 
good cause. I know it is the cause of truth.' He then re- 
peated, with considerable emphasis, the most prominent 
points of his present faith, as follows : '/ believe in the eternal 
God., in His Son Jesus Christ, in the atonement which Christ has 
made, and in the ivritings of the apostles, as the true and only word 
of God. Perhaps,' continued he, 'you may not remember 
that, during one of my last visits, you told me that I was 
trusting in my own understanding, rather than the divine 
word. From that time I have seen my error, and endeavored 
to renounce it. You explained to me also the evil of wor- 
shipping at pagodas, though I told you that my heart did 
not partake in the worship. Since you left Rangoon, I have 
not lifted up my folded hands before a pagoda. It is true, I 
sometimes follow the crowd, on days of worship, in order to 
avoid persecution ; but I walk up one side of the pagoda, and 
walk down the other. Now, you say that I am not a disciple. 
What lack I yet ?' I was now satisfied that he had made a 
little advance since our last interview, which required a cor- 
responding advance on my side. I replied, therefore, 
' Teacher, you may be a disciple of Christ in heart, but you 
are not a full disciple. You have not faith and resolution 
enough to keep all the commands of Christ, particularly that 
which requires you to be baptized, though in the face of per- 
secution and death. Consider the words of Jesus, just before 
He returned to heaven, " He that believeth and is baptized 
shall be saved." ' He received this communication in pro- 
found silence, and with that air which I have observed to 
come upon him when he take's a thing into serious consider- 


ation. Soon after I hinted our intention of leaving Rangoon, 
since the emperor had virtually prohibited the propagation 
of the Christian religion, and no Burman, under such cir- 
cumstances, would dare to investigate, much less to embrace 
it. This intelligence evidently roused him, and showed us 
that we had more interest in his heart than we thought. 
' Say not so,' said he ; * there are some who will investigate, 
notwithstanding ; and rather than have you quit Rangoon, 
I will go myself to the Mangen teacher, and have a public 
dispute. I know I can silence him. I know the truth is on 
my side.' 'Ah,' said I, 'you may have a tongue to silence 
him, but he has a pair of fetters and an iron mall to tame 
you. Remember that.' This was the substance of our con- 
versation, though much more prolix ; and he left us about nine 
o'clock at night. 

"This interview furnished matter for conversation till past 
midnight, and kept us awake much of the remainder of the 
night. Perhaps, on arriving in Rangoon, we shall find the 
disciples firm, and some others seriously inquiring. Perhaps 
we shall discover some appearances of a movement of the 
divine Spirit. Perhaps the Lord Jesus has a few chosen 
ones, whom He intends to call in, under the most unpropitious 
and forbidding circumstances. Perhaps he intends to show 
that it is not by might nor by power, but by His Spirit. In a 
word, perhaps in the last extremity, God will help us. Ought 
we, then, hastily to forsake the place ? Ought we to desert 
those of the disciples that we can not take with us, and some 
others, for whom perhaps Christ died, in such an interesting 
crisis of their fate ? Would it be rashness to endeavor to 
trust in God, and maintain the post, though disallowed by 
Government, and exposed to persecution ? But again : Can 
we bear to see our dear disciples in prison, in fetters, under 
torture ? Can we stand by them and encourage them to bear 
patiently the rage of their persecutors ? Are we willing to 
participate with them ? Though the spirit may be .sometimes 
almost willing, is not the flesh too weak ? 

" Pondering on such topics as these, a little ray of hope 
seemed to shine out of the darkness of our despair. But it 


was not like the soft beam of the moon, which kindly shines 
on the path of the benighted pilgrim, and guides him to a 
place of shelter. It was rather like the angry gleam of light- 
ning which, while for a moment it illumines the landscape 
around, discloses the black magazines of heaven's artillery 
and threatens death to the unwary gazer. 
^^ February 18. Arrived in Rangoon." 

Mr. Judson and Mr. Colman returned from Ava utterly 
disheartened, for their journey had been a complete failure. 
The emperor had refused to give them permission to propa- 
gate the Christian religion among his subjects , and any 
Burman who should renounce Buddhism and become a 
Christian, would incur the displeasure of his sovereign. 

Mr. Judson at once decided to remove the mission to 
Chittagong, where, under the protection of the British flag, 
he could preach Christ to a Burmese-speaking population. 
He gathered his converts and inquirers together, and made 
no concealment of the failure at Ava. He pictured the suf- 
ferings to which the Burman would be exposed who should 
espouse Christianity, while he declared his intention, reluc- 
tantly formed, of leaving the country. But, to his great sur- 
prise, his converts stood firm. They expressed their willing- 
ness to suffer persecution, and even death, rather than re- 
nounce Christ. They entreated him not to leave them. 
"Stay at least," they said, "until a little church of ten is 
collected, and a native teacher is set over it, and then, if you 
must go, we will not say nay. In that case we shall not be 
concerned. This religion will spread of itself. The emperor 
can not stop it." The heroism of the disciples prevailed to 
keep the teacher in Rangoon. 

It was thought best, however, that Mr. Colman and his 
wife should go to Chittagong* and gather together the few 
converts left there by the English Baptists, and to preach 
the Gospel to the Arracanese. Thus Chittagong might 

* See Map II. 


prove an asylum for the Judsons and their Burman converts 
if they should be hunted out of Rangoon. On March 27, 
1820, Mr. Colman embarked for Arracan, where, after a short 
but heroic missionary career, he died at Cox's Bazaar on the 
4th of July, 1822. 

Thus Mr. and Mrs. Judson again found themselves alone 
at Rangoon. The Houghs, the Wheelocks, the Colmans 
had gone. They were left with their little group of three 
converts to continue the conflict with heathenism. But, 
strange to say, in this darkest hour of all the Spirit began 
to work mightily in the hearts of the Burmans. Within 
five months, in the very face of impending persecution, seven 
heathen, one after another, were converted and baptized, 
among them the learned skeptical Moung Shw^a-gnong, and 
the first woman, Mah-men-la. The church of three native 
converts rapidl}^ grew into a church of ten. But, at this 
point, Mrs. Judson's health became so completely shattered 
that, in order to save her life, Mr. Judson had to take her 
to Calcutta. 

All these interesting events will be found narrated, with 
fuller detail, in the succeeding extract from Mr. Judson's 
journal : 

'■'■February 20. Lord's day. In the evening I called the 
three disciples together, and gave them a connected account 
of the affair at Ava, that they might have a full understand- 
ing of the dangers of their present condition, and the reasons 
of our intended departure from Rangoon. We expected that, 
after being destitute of all the means of grace for some time, 
and after seeing their teachers driven away from the presence 
of their monarch in disgrace, they would become cold in their 
affections, and have but little remaining zeal for a cause thus 
proscribed and exposed to persecution. We thought that, if 
one out of the three remained firm, it was as much as we 
could reasonably hope for. But how delightfully were we 
disappointed ! They all, to a man, appeared immovably the 
same ; yea, rather advanced in zeal and energy. They vied 


with each other in trying to explain away difficulties, and to 
convince us that the cause was not yet quite desperate. But 
whither are the teachers going ? was, of course, an anxious 
inquiry. We told them that it was our intention never to 
desert Burmah ; but that, since the emperor had refused to 
tolerate our religion, we thought it necessary to leave for a 
time those parts of the empire which are immediately under 
his dominion ; that there is a tract of country lying between 
Bengal and Arracan, which, though under the government 
of Bengal, is chiefly inhabited by Arracanese, who speak a 
language similar to the Burman, the district being really a 
part of Arracan, one component part of the present Burman 
empire ; that formerly a teacher 'from Bengal (De Bruyn) 
lived at Chittagong, the principal town in that district, and 
baptized several converts, who, at his death, were left desti- 
tute of all instruction to the present time ; and that, in view 
of these considerations, it was our purpose to proceed thither, 
in hope of finding that toleration which was denied us in 
Rangoon. We then asked them, severally, what they would 
do. Moung Nau had previously told us that he would fol- 
low us to any part of the world. He was only afraid that he 
should be a burden to us ; for, not being acquainted with 
another language, he might- not be able to get his living in 
a strange land. 'As for me,' said Moung Thah-lah, 'I go 
where preaching is to be had.' Moung Byaa was silent and 
thoughtful. At last he said that, as no Burman woman is 
allowed to leave the country, he could not, on account of his 
wife, follow the teachers. ' But,' continued he, with some 
pathos, ' if I must be left here alone, T shall remain perform- 
ing the duties of Jesus Christ's religion ; no other shall I 
think of.' This interview with the disciples rejoiced our 
hearts, and caused us to praise God for the grace which He 
has manifested to them. 

'■^Febmary 24. We have spent three or four days in in- 
quiring about Chittagong, and the prospect of getting a pas- 
sage directly thither, or by the way of Bengal. 

"This evening Moung Byaa came up with his brother-in- 
law, Moung Myat-yah, who has lived in our yard several 


months, and formerly attended worship in the zayat. ' I 
have come,' said Moung Byaa, ' to petition that you will not 
leave Rangoon at present' 'I think,' replied I, 'that it is 
useless to remain under present circumstances. We can not 
open the zayaf; we can not have public worship ; no Burman 
will dare to examine this religion ; and if none examine, none 
can be expected to embrace it.' ' Teacher,' said he, ' my mind 
is distressed ; I can neither eat nor sleep since I find you are 
going away. I have been around among those who live 
near us, and I find some who are even now examining the 
new religion. Brother Myat-yah is one of them, and he unites 
with me in my petitions.' Here Myat-yah assented that it 
was so. ' Do stay with us-a few months. Do stay till there 
are eight or ten disciples ; then appoint one to be the teacher 
of the rest ; I shall not be concerned about the event ; though 
you should leave the country, the religion will spread of it- 
self ; the emperor himself can not stop it. But if you go now, 
and take the two disciples that can follow, I shall be left 
alone. I can not baptize those who may wish to embrace this 
religion. What can I do ? ' Moung Nau came in, and ex- 
pressed himself in a similar way. He thought that several 
would yet become disciples, in spite of all opposition, and 
that it was best for us to stay a while. We could not restrain 
our tears at hearing all this ; and we told them that as we 
lived only for the promotion of the cause of Christ among 
the Burmans, if there was any prospect of success in Ran- 
goon, we had no desire to go to another place, and would, 
therefore, reconsider the matter. 

'■^February 26. Moung Shwa-boo, a sedate and pleasant 
man, who came to live in our yard just before we went to 
Ava, accompanied Moung Myat-yah to the usual evening 
worship. When we were about breaking up, Moung Thah-lah 
began conversation by saying, ' Teacher, your intention of 
going away has filled us all with trouble. Is it good to for- 
sake us thus ? Notwithstanding present difficulties and 
dangers, it is to be remembered that this work is not yours 
or ours, but the work of God. If He give light, the religion 
will spread. Nothing can impede it.' After conversing some 


time, I found that Moung Louk, another inhabitant of the 
yard, had been listening without. Accordingly, he was in- 
vited to take his seat with the inquirers. Moung Byaa now 
began to be in earnest ; his arm was elevated, and his eyes 
brightened. ' Let us all,' said he, ' make an effort. As for 
me, I will pray. Only leave a little church of ten, with a 
teacher set over them, and I shall be fully satisfied.' Moung 
Nau took a very active part in the conversation. The three 
new ones said nothing, except that they were desirous of con- 
sidering the religion of Christ. None of them, however, was 
willing to admit that, as yet, he believed anything. 

" We felt that it was impossible for us all to leave these 
people, in these interesting circumstances ; and, at the same 
time, we felt it very important that Chittagong should not 
be neglected. Under these circumstances, we came to the 
conclusion that brother Colman should proceed immediately 
to Chittagong, collect the Arracanese converts, and form a 
station to which new missionaries from the Board may at first 
repair, and to which I may ultimately flee, with those of the 
disciples that can leave the country, when we find that per- 
secution is so violent as to suppress all further inquiry, and 
render it useless and rash to remain ; that I should remain 
in Rangoon until the state of things becomes thus desperate, 
and then endeavor to join brother Colman in Chittagong ; 
but that if, contrary to our expectation, the Rangoon station 
should, after a lapse of several months, appear to be tenable, 
and that for an indefinite time, and some work be evidently 
going on, brother Colman, after settling one or two mission- 
aries in Chittagong, to keep that place, should rejoin me in 

^^ February 28. A visit from Moung Shwa-gnong. He had 
considered, he said, my last words — that one must believe 
and be baptized in order to be a full disciple. It was his de- 
sire to be such, and he wanted to know what outward rules 
in particular he must observe in case he should become a 
professor. I told him that the disciples of Christ, after bap- 
tism, were associated together ; that they assembled every 
Lord's day for worship, and that from time to time they re- 


ceived the sacrament of bread and wine. I then warned him 
of the danger of self-deception, and of the persecution to 
which disciples were exposed in this country, and advised 
him to reconsider the matter most thoroughly before he made 
a definite request for baptism. 

'■'■ Ma7-ch 2. Another visit from Oo Yan. Venture to indulge 
a little hope that truth is beginning to operate on his mind. 

'■''March 5. Lord's day. Private worship, as last Lord's day. 
In the evening received the sacrament of bread and wine. 
Moung Nau was not present, having gone on a visit to Bau- 
lay, his native place. Had a refreshing and happy season 
wnth the two other disciples. Two of the inquirers were 

^^ March 8. In the evening had a very pleasant and in- 
structive conference with the disciples and inquirers. Moung 
Thah-lah appeared to great advantage. Took the lead in ex- 
plaining truth to the new ones, and quoted Scripture with 
singular facility and aptness. 

" Afarch 26. Lord's day. Three women present at worship 
— acquaintances of Moung Shwa-gnong. They have visited 
Mrs. Judson once or twice before. The principal of them re- 
nounced Gaudama some years ago, and adopted the semi-athe- 
istic system, but without obtaining any real satisfaction. Two 
years ago, she met with a copy of the tract, which gave her 
an idea of an eternally-existing God ; but she knew not 
whence the paper came. At length, Moung Shwa-gnong 
told her that he had found the true wisdom, and directed 
her to us. Her case appears very hopeful. 

"In the evening, after worship, had a protracted conversa- 
tion with the disciples and inquirers, on account of brother 
Colman's intended departure to-morrow. Moung Shwa-ba 
appeared very well indeed. Moung Myat-yah said, ' Set me 
down for a disciple. I have fully made up my mind in re- 
gard to this religion. I love Jesus Christ ; but I am not yet 
quite ready for baptism.' After we dismissed them, they went 
over to the zayat of their own accord^ and held a prayer-77ieeting. 

"And here I must close my journal. We have spent the 
last evening with our very dear brother and sister Colman. 


They expect to embark to-morrow morning. Our parting is 
mournful ; for happy, uncommonly happy has been our past 
intercourse. Nothing but a sense of duty could force the 
present separation. We hope that it will be of short dura- 
tion, and that we shall soon reunite our labors in Chittagong 
or Rangoon. 

" On their departure, Mrs. Judson and myself will again 
be left to our former ' loneliness of lot.' In this situation, 
we renewedly commend ourselves to the remembrance and 
prayers of the Board. 

^^ April 15. Moung Shwa-ba has for some days been 
talking of a visit to Shwa-doung, his native place, to com- 
municate the treasure which he has found to his numerous 
relations and friends. This evening, after expressing his 
desires, he said it had occurred to him that it might be proper 
to ask permission or license so to do. Not that he aspired 
to set up as a teacher ; far from that ; but he wanted to feel 
that, in communicating the Gospel, he was proceeding in a 
regular authorized manner. He thought that, if two or 
three disciples could be raised up in each of the large towns, 
it would much facilitate our operations. He was sure that 
at least one in ten of his relations and friends, on hearing 
his story, could not help embracing the new religion. I 
secretly exulted at hearing his proposal, so evidently the re- 
sult of Christian principle, and exhorted him to constant 
self-examination and prayer, as the means of discovering his 
own duty and the divine will. 

"April 16. Lord's day. Early in the morning the teacher, 
Moung Shwa-gnong, came in, after an absence of just a 
month. He was. soon followed by Oo Yan and his two 
friends. They spent the whole day with me. All appear 
hopeful. The teacher remained, as usual, after the others 
had left, and thereby afforded me an opportunity for private 
conversation He admitted that all his objections to posi- 
tive commands were removed, and that it was his desire to 
be a full disciple ; but, when urged closely on the subject, 
he intimated that his wife and friends were opposed to his 
taking any decided step, and that, if he did, he was, more- 


over, exposed to imminent danger of persecution and death. 
He mentioned these things with so much feeling, and such 
evident consciousness of simple weakness, as completely dis- 
armed me. My heart was wrung with pity. I sincerely 
sympathized with him in his evident mental trials. I could 
not deny the truth of what he said, but gently hinted, as thy 
day is, thy strength shall be, and proposed the example of 
the apostles and martyrs, the glory of suffering for Christ, 
etc. But the thought of the iron mall, and a secret suspicion 
that, if I was in his circumstances, I should perhaps have no 
more courage, restrained my tongue. We parted with much 
solemnity, understanding one another better than ever be- 
fore. I shall not probably see him again very soon ; for it 
is too dangerous for a man of his distinction to be seen com- 
ing frequently to the mission-house. 

^^ April 20. Mah Men-la and her friends have been with 
Mrs. Judson all day. She gives increasing evidence of being 
a real disciple, but is extremely timid, through fear of perse- 
cution. One of her remarks deserves notice, as a natural 
expression of true Christian feeling. ' I am surprised,' said 
she, ' to find this religion has such an effect on my mind 
as to make me love the disciples of Christ more than my 
dearest natural relations.' She is a woman of very superior 
discernment and mental energy. One of the women, who 
has frequently accompanied her in her visits, met with a 
tract at Old Pegu about six weeks ago, and came all the way 
to Rangoon, chiefly, she says, on that account. 

" This day I have finished the translation of the Epistle to 
the Ephesians, begun before I went to Ava, but intermitted 
on account of the weakness of my eyes. It is with real joy 
that I put this precious writing into the hands of the dis- 
ciples. It is a great accession to their scanty stock of 
Scripture ; for they have had nothing hitherto but Matthew. 
Intend to give them Acts as fast as my eyes will allow. 

" April 30. Lord's day. One of the busiest days I have 
ever spent. Not a multitude of visitants, as formerly. That 
we can not expect in present circumstances. But, besides 
the usual evening assembly, there were eight or ten present 


at worship, some of whom were with me from nine in the 
morning till ten at night. Mah Men-la and her company 
were with Mrs. Judson, who, by the way, has had a serious 
attack of the liver complaint for a fortnight past, and is now 
in a course of salivation. 

"Oo Yan, after having searched out all the difficult points 
of religion, came to-day to the ne plus ultra — How are sin 
and eternal misery reconcilable with the character of an infi- 
nitely holy, wise, and powerful God ? He at length obtained 
such satisfaction that he could not restrain laughing, from 
pure mental delight, and kept recurring to the subject, and 
repeating my remarks to those around him. He was accom- 
panied, as usual, by his two friends, Moung Thah-a and 
Moung Myat-lah, husband of Mah Men-la. With these 
came also one Moung Yo, a disciple of Moung Shwa-gnong, 
a poor man, but a sharp reasoner. He was, or pretended 
to be, on the semi-atheistic plan. After ascertaining his 
precise ground, I used an argument which, in a late com- 
bat with Oo Yan, I found quite invincible. It is simply 
this : * No mind, no wisdom ; temporary mind, temporary 
wisdom ; eternal mind, eternal wisdom.' Now, as all the 
semi-atheists firmly believe in eternal wisdom, this concise 
statement sweeps with irresistible sway through the very 
joints and marrow of their system. And, though it may 
seem rather simple and inconclusive to one unacquainted 
with Burman reasoning, its effect is uniformly decisive. No 
sooner is this short sentence uttered than one significantly 
nods his head, as if to say, 'There you have it.' Another 
cries out to the opponent, 'You are undone, destroyed.' 
Another says, 'Talk about wisdom ! where else will you find 
it ? ' The disputant himself, who was perhaps preparing a 
learned speech about the excellence, and efficacy, and 
eternity of wisdom, quite disconcerted by this unexpected 
onset, sits looking at the wreck of his system, and wonder- 
ing at the simple means which has spread such ruin around 
him ; presently he looks up (for the Burmans are frequently 
candid), and says, 'Your words are very appropriate'; and 
perhaps his next question is, ' How can I become a disciple 


of the God you worship ? ' All the visitors to-day, and, in- 
deed, all the semi-atheists, are despisers of Gaudama and 
the established religion of the land. Moung Shwa-gnong 
has disseminated this heresy in Rangoon for several years ; 
but since he has become acquainted with us, he frequently 
tells his adherents, *I know nothing ; if you want true wis- 
dom, go to the foreign teacher, and there you will find it.' 
I have reason to believe that this heresy is not confined to 
Rangoon, but is taking root in various parts of the country 
and preparing the way for the Christian religion. O for 
toleration — a little toleration ! We will be content to bap- 
tize in the night, and hold worship in private ; but we do 
pray that we may not be utterly banished from the land ; 
that we may not be cut up, root and branch. O that these 
poor souls, who are groping in the dark, feeling after the 
truth, may have time and opportunities to find the precious 
treasure which will enrich them forevermore ! We are all 
looking with anxiety toward the golden feet. Our viceroy, 
Moung Shwa-thah, has gone thither on a visit ; and it is 
doubtful whether he will return, or his rival, Mya-day-men. 
If the latter, there is some reason to hope that we shall keep 
footing in Rangoon, at least during his administration. 

"•May 5. Another visit from Moung Myat-lah and his 
wife, which has afforded us good reason to hope that he also 
has become a true believer. His wife appears the same as 
usual. They are both gaining courage in regard to an open 
profession of the Christian religion, and begin to wonder at 
the backwardness of their former oracle, Moung Shwa-gnong. 

''May 8. Moung Thah-a, the friend of Moung Myat-lah, 
has spent most of the day with me, and given equally good 
evidence of being a true disciple. He was formerly an offi- 
cer under Government, and amassed considerable property, 
Avhich he mostly spent in building pagodas and making offer- 
ings. But he obtained no satisfaction, found no resting- 
place for his soul, until he became acquainted with the re- 
ligion of Jesus. He now rests in this religion, with conscious 
security ; believes and loves all that he hears of it, and prays 
that he may become fully a true disciple of the Saviour. 



" Both of these men are respectable householders, rather 
above the middling class. They live in a little village called 
Nan-dau-gong, about half a mile from the mission-house. 
Moung Myat-lah has a large family ; but Moung Thah-a has 
none, and were it not for an aged mother who depends on 
him, he would follow me, he says, throughout the world. 

^^ May 12. The three visitors from Nan-dau-gong have 
been with us part of the day. One characteristic trait in 
these people is a particular love for the Scriptures. They al- 
most quarrel with one another for the only copy of the Ephe- 
sians which I have given them, and I therefore determine to 
spare them another as soon as it is done. They say that the 
translation of this Epistle is plainer, and more easily under- 
stood, than that of Matthew, which is very encouraging to 
me, as I made it without the assistance of any person, not 
even a Burman teacher. My old teacher went to Ava some 
months ago, and I am now afraid to employ another, lest 
he should become too well acquainted with the disciples and 
inquirers, and betray them to Government. 

'■'■May 14. Lord's day. A very busy day with the Nan-dau- 
gong visitors, and the usual evening assembly. 

'■'■ May 18. Mah Myat lah and Mali Doke, who have fre- 
quently accompained their relation, Mah Men-la, came to-day 
by themselves. They appeared to be under solemn religious 
impressions, sensible of their sin and danger, and anxious to 
obtain an interest in the Saviour, but are yet unenlightened 
in regard to the way. Mah Baik, also, sister of Moung 
Thah-lah, who formerly afforded us some encouragement, 
but afterward fell off, has recommenced visiting us. We 
hope that during several months' confinement she has not in 
vain meditated on the truths she formerly heard. She says 
that her mind is changed, that she loves the Saviour, and 
trusts in Him alone for salvation from sin and hell, and de- 
sires to become His disciple in full by receiving baptism. 
Her husband, Moung Nyo-dwa, and Moung Thah-yah, an- 
other resident in our yard, whom I think I have not yet men- 
tioned, are constant attendants on evening worship, and 
seem to be making slow advances in the knowledge and love 


of divine truth. Moung Shwa-ba, the last baptized, begins 
to appear to great advantage ; has very correct ideas of the 
Gospel system, and communicates truth to the inquirers with 
much feeling and animation. In zeal for the extension of 
the Redeemer's kingdom, he surpasses the older disciples. 
This is the man who, from not knowing that there was such 
a being in the universe as a God, became a speculative be- 
liever, a penitent, a hopeful recipient of grace, and a candi- 
date for baptism, all in the space of three days. Some of 
the above-mentioned have, on the contrary'', been several 
months in making similar attainments, and are yet found 
wanting. Thus diverse are the operations of the Holy Spirit. 

"■^Jttne 1 6. Received letters from Bengal. News from 
Bombay that a Mahometan has professed the Gospel, and 
from Java that brother Robinson has baptized the first Chi- 
nese convert. Thus there seems to be a beginning in several 
very important stations. May the little one become a thou- 
sand. Rejoiced to hear that brother Colman had safely ar- 
rived at Bengal, and embarked on a boat for Chittagong, 
and that thus far he had not met with any molestation or 
interruption from the police. May he get a footing in Chit- 
tagong, for everything here, in regard to toleration, grows 

'^June 27. Mrs. Judson at length despairs of recovering 
without some proper medical assistance. For a few days we 
have hoped that she would get some relief from the various 
applications which are made, though at the expense of an al- 
most total exhaustion of strength ; but this morning, to our 
utter disappointment, the disorder has returned with in- 
creased violence, and her constitution appears to be rapidly 
failing. I have intended, for some time past, to send her 
alone to Bengal ; but she has become too weak, and the 
present circumstances of the complaint are too alarming, to 
allow such a measure, and I have therefore, though with 
great reluctance and much conflict of mind, concluded to ac- 
company her to Bengal. We have a special inducement to 
embrace the opportunity afforded us by the ship which lately 
brought our letters, since, if we reject this, we shall have to 


wait several months for another opportunity, during which 
time Mrs, J. will, in all probability, be placed beyond the 
reach of medical assistance. 

^'■July 16. Lord's day. A few days ago we concluded to 
receive the two new applicants for baptism ; but I thought 
it most prudent, partly by way of trying their sincerity, to 
send them a message, suggesting that, since I was greatly 
occupied in getting ready for sea, and since one of them was 
not so well acquainted with the doctrines of religion as was 
desirable, it might be better to defer their baptism till my 

"This morning they came up in much trouble. They 
stated that, as they had fully embraced the Christian religion 
in their hearts, they could not remain easy without being 
baptized, according to the command of Christ ; that no man 
could tell whether I should ever return or not, and that it 
was their earnest petition that if I could possibly find time, 
and thought them worthy of the ordinance, I would admin- 
ister it to them before I went away. They did not wish me 
to go out to the usual place, as that was at some distance, 
but would be baptized in a small pond near the mission- 
house. Moung Gway said that, though he was ver/ ignorant, 
he knew enough of this religion to love it sincerely, and to 
trust in Christ for salvation from all his sins. I re-examined 
them both, stated to them the great danger of professing a 
foreign religion, etc., and, on their urging their request, told 
them I would baptize them in the evening. 

" Was obliged to be out all the afternoon, getting our 
things aboard the ship, as we expect to move down the river 
to-morrow morning. At night baptized the two new disci- 
ples, after which we all partook of the Lord's supper for the 
last time. 

"y>^/v 17. Ship to be detained two days. In the fore- 
noon, the teacher, Moung Shwa-gnong, came in. I received 
him with some reserve, but soon found that he had not stayed 
away so long from choice, having been ill with a fever for 
some time, and occupied also with the illness of his family 
and adherents. He gradually wore away my reserve ; and 


we had not been together two hours, before I felt more satis- 
fied than ever, from his account of his mental trials, his 
struggles with sin, his strivings to be holy, his penitence, his 
faith, his exercises in secret prayer, that he is a subject of 
the special operations of the Holy Spirit, that he is indeed a 
true disciple. He stayed all day. In the afternoon the five 
Nan-dau-gong visitors, the doctor Oo Yan, and several others 
came together, and we had much interesting conversation. 
Toward the close, Moung Shwa-gnong, as if to bring things 
to a crisis, addressed me thus : ' My lord teacher, there are 
now several of us present who have long considered this re- 
ligion. I hope that we are all believers in Jesus Christ.' ' I 
am afraid,' replied I, * to say that ; however, it is easily ascer- 
tained ; and let me begin with you, teacher. I have hereto- 
fore thought that you fully believed in the eternal God ; but 
I have had some doubt whether you fully believed in the Son 
of God, and the atonement which He has made.' ' I assure 
you,' he replied, ' that I am as fully persuaded of the latter 
as of the former.' ' Do you believe, then,' I continued, ' that 
none but the disciples of Christ will be saved from sin and 
hell ?' ' None but His disciples.' ' How, then, can you re- 
main witht)ut taking the oath of allegiance to Jesus Christ, 
and becoming His full disciple in body and soul?' * It is 
my earnest desire to do so, by receiving baptism ; and for 
the very purpose of expressing that desire, I have come here 
to-day.' * You say you are desirous of receiving baptism : 
may I ask when you desire to receive it ? ' * At any time you 
will please to give it. Now — this moment, if you please.' 

* Do you wish to receive baptism in public or in private?' 

* I will receive it at any time, and in any circumstances, that 
you please to direct.' I then said, ' Teacher, I am satisfied 
from your conversation this forenoon, that you are a true 
disciple, and I reply, therefore, that I am as desirous of giv- 
ing you baptism as you are of receiving it.' This conversa- 
tion had a great effect on all present. The disciples rejoiced ; 
the rest were astonished ; for though they have long thought 
that he believed the Christian religion, they could not think 
that such a man could easily be brought to profess it, and 


suffer himself to be put under the water by a foreigner. I 
then turned to Moung Thah-a, one of the Nan-dau-gong 
people, who, I hope, is a true believer. 'Are you willing to 
take the oath of allegiance to Jesus Christ ? ' 'If the teacher 
Moung Shwa-gnong consents,' said he, 'why should I hesi- 
tate?' 'And if he does not consent, what then?' 'I must 
wait a little longer.' ' Stand by,' said I ; * you trust in 
Moung Shwa-gnong, rather than in Jesus Christ. You are 
not worthy of being baptized.' Mount Myat-lah, on being 
similarly interrogated, wished to consider a little longer. 
Oo Yan was still further from committing himself. Of the 
women present, I interrogated Mah Men-la only. She had 
evidently a considerable struggle in her mind, probably on 
account of her husband's having just declined. At length 
she said that, if I thought it suitable for her to be baptized, 
she was desirous of receiving the ordinance. I told her that 
her reply was not satisfactory. I could not consent to bap- 
tize any one who could possibly remain easy without being 
baptized, and then I related the story of the last two disci- 
ples ; after which the party broke up. 

" In the evening, I laid the case of Moung Shwa-gnong 
before the church, and we joyfully agreed to receive him to 
communion, on his being baptized. 

"July 18. In the morning, the teacher again made his 
appearance. I again asked him whether he preferred being 
baptized in the day or in the evening, and he again left it to 
my decision ; on which I advised him to wait till night. He 
appeared very well through the day, his deportment solemn, 
his conversation spiritual. Just at night, I called in two or 
three of the disciples, read the account of the baptism of the 
eunuch, made the baptismal prayer, and then proceeded with 
the teacher to the accustomed place, went down into the 
water, and baptized him. 

" On my return, I found that Mah Men-la, whom I had 
left with Mrs. Judson, had gone away. As soon as she saw 
that the teacher had actually gone to be baptized, she ex- 
claimed, 'Ah, he has now gone to obey the command of Jesus 


Christ, while I remain without obeying. I shall not be able 
to sleep this night. I must go home, and consult my hus- 
band, and return.' In the evening, we again partook of the 
Lord's supper, in consequence of the admission of the 
teacher, and my expected departure on the morrow. We 
had just finished, when, about nine o'clock, Mah Men-la re- 
turned, accompanied by the two other women from her vil- 
lage. She immediately requested to be baptized. The dis- 
ciples present assented without hesitation. I told her that I 
rejoiced to baptize her, having been long satisfied that she 
had received the grace of Christ ; and, it being very late, I 
led her out to the pond near the house by lantern light, and 
thus baptized the tenth Burman convert, and the first wom- 
an. Mah Men-la is fifty-one years old, of most extensive 
acquaintance through the place, of much strength of mind, 
decision of character, and consequent influence over others. 
She is, indeed, among women what Moung Shwa-gnong is 
among men. 

" On returning to the house, she said, ' Now I have taken 
the oath of allegiance to Jesus Christ, and I have nothing 
to do but to commit myself, soul and body, into the hands of 
my Lord, assured that He will never suffer me to fall away.' 
Several visitors spent the night at the mission-house. 

^^July 19. In the morning, we all met for worship. After 
I had prayed, Moung Thah-lah and Moung Shwa-ba both 
prayed, with much propriety and feeling. In the course of 
the forenoon, Mah Men-la's husband, and Moung Thah-a, 
and the doctor, and several others, came in, so that we had 
quite a houseful. At noon, we set out for the river, fol- 
lowed by near a hundred people, the women crying aloud in 
the Burman manner, and almost all deeply affected. When 
we entered the boat, I called the teacher and Mah Men-la 
and a few others to go with us to the ship, which lay at 
some distance in the river. The rest remained on the wharf, 
bidding us farewell, telling us to come back soon, etc. Thus 
we left the shores of Rangoon. Those who accompanied us 
to the ship stayed an hour or two and returned. We stood as 



long on the quarter-deck looking at them as the others had 
stood on the wharf looking at us.* 

"y«/y 20. The ship having been unable to move yester- 
day, on account of the anchor's being foul, the teacher, 
Moung Shwa-gnong, espied the masts from his village, and 
came off in a boat, with his wife and another woman. Soon 
after, most of the Nan-dau-gong people came to the mission- 
house, and, finding that the ship had not dropped down, 
came off, accompanied by several of our own people. We 
were much gratified by this fresh proof of their attachment ; 
but the ship got under weigh immediately, and they were 
obliged to leave us for the last time." 

The following letter sent by these newly-made converts 
to their brethren in America, shows of what stuff this first 
Burman church was made : 

"Brethren all, who live in America! The brethren who live in Bur- 
mah address you. 

"We inform you, brethren, that, trusting in the grace of the etemal 
God, the divine Spirit, and the excellent Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, we 
remain happy; and seeing our real state and circumstances, we have 
repentance of soul, and an anticipation of the happiness of heaven. 

"God, the sum of all perfection, without beginning and without end, 
subsists through successive ages ; and this world, the earth and sky, and 
all things therein, which He has created, are according as He created 

" God, the Creator, is replete with goodness and purity, and is exempt 
from old age, sickness, death, and annihilation ; and thus there is none 
that can compare with Him. 

"It is contained in the Scriptures, that God, in His own nature, unites 
three, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and is [yet] m)'steriously 
one God ; that He is in all places, but dwells in heaven, by the clearer 
manifestation of His glory ; that His power and wisdom are unrivalled; 
and that He enjoys happiness incomprehensible to creatures. 

" But the Burmans know not the true God ; they know not tlie true 

* " One of these female disciples was found at Rangoon by the missionaries in Au^st, 
1852, having: attained the age of eighty years. From the time of her baptism until 
then, for thirty years, she had maintained, in the midst of heathenism, a consistent 
Christian profession. She remembered well Mr. Judson and 'the Mamma' Judson, 
and was in daily expectation of meeting them again in heaven." 


religion; they worship a false god; they practice a false religion ; and 
[thus] they transgress the divine law, and sin against the most estimable 
Benefactor, and therefore they neither expiate their sins nor acquire 
merit. And by excessively loving themselves and the filth of this world, 
they love not nor worship the eternal God, nor believe in the Lord Jesus 
Christ, hut regard the good things of this world merely. 

" That the Burmans, who know not the way to eternal happiness, 
niight become acquainted with it ; that they might be renewed ; and 
that they might escape everlasting punishment, the American teacher 
Judson and wife have both come to Burmah and proclaimed the Gospel 
of the divine Son, the Lord Jesus Christ ; on which some Burmans have 
become disciples. And on these accounts, the disciple Moung Shwa-ba 
says that your favor is very great [or he gives you very many thanks]. 

" Those who love divine grace, who believe, who hear and consider 
the Gospel, who trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, who repent of their sins, 
attain the state of disciples. And that this religion may spread ever^-- 
where, Moung Shwa-ba is making endeavors, and constantly praying, to 
proclaim the Gospel. And he prays thus : O eternal God, graciously 
grant the favor which I desire. Graciously grant that I may have regard 
to Thy divine will, and be conformed thereto. Be pleased to take notice 
of my supplications, O God. I desire not to seek my own profit ; I de- 
sire constantly to seek the profit of others. Thou art the Creator of all 
things, and if Thou art pleased to be gracious, O, grant that I may be 
enabled to promote the good of others. Open Thou the eyes of my mind 
and give me light. And when I shall preach in various places, evermore 
send forth the divine Spirit that multitudes may become disciples. That 
Thou wilt grant these things, I beseech Thee, O God. 

" The disciple Moung Shwa-ba has composed this writing, and com- 
mitted it to the hand of the teacher; [even] in the Burman year 11S2, 
on the 7th of the waxing of the moon Wah-goung, he has written this, 
and delivered it to the teacher and his wife. 

" P.S. Brethren, there are in the country of Burmah nine persons 
who have become disciples." 

Mr. and Mrs. Judson embarked at Rangoon July 19, 1820, 
and arrived at Calcutta on the iSth of August. What a 
pang it must have cost them to leave their little mission 
at this time when, after long years of waiting, they saw the 
Burmans eagerly and rapidly embracing the Gospel ! On 
the wtxy day of embarkation Mr. Judson wrote to Dr. Bald- 
win : 


" Rangoox, July 19, 1S2C. 

"Rev. and dear Sir : My last gave you some account of 
our affairs to the time of brother Colman's departure. Soon 
after that event Mrs. Judson was taken ill. The symptoms 
were at first slight, but they gradually became more decisive 
and alarming ; and the disorder continued to gain ground, 
until she was unable to leave the couch, or walk across the 
room, without bringing on violent suffering. Under such 
circumstances I determined to accompany her to Bengal, 
partly for the sake of the voyage, w^hich is commonly bene- 
ficial in such disorders, and partly to procure medical assist- 
ance, of which we are perfectly destitute in Rangoon. 

"Never did I feel more unwilling to leave Rangoon, nor 
was the mission ever in more interesting circumstances than 
at the present time. Since our return from Ava, I have not 
ventured to make any public movement, but confined myself 
at home, holding private worship, translating the Scriptures, 
and conversing with all who visited me. The Spirit of God 
has, however, continued operating in the minds of several, 
and carries on the work which began before we went up to 

Ava All the ten baptized disciples give satisfactory 

evidence of being true converts. Those of longest standing 
are evidently growing Christians. Some of them take the 
lead in prayer-meetings with great propriety ; and nearly all 
of them have made some attempt at this exercise before the 
church. A good degree of Christian affection prevails among 
them all, the appearance of which, Moung Shwa-gnong says, 
convinced him more than anything else of the divine origin 
and efficacy of our religion. The proofs of their attachment to 
us are too numerous to be detailed. Even at this moment 
the house is full of people bewailing our departure, and beg- 
ging us to return soon, most of whom never have received, 
and have no prospect of ever receiving, from us any temporal 
advantage whatever. 

"We are just now going aboard ship. I write this letter 
in haste, and leave it to be forwarded by another opportunity, 
that you may get some intelligence of us, in case we are lost 
at sea. 


" It is hardly necessary to add that, whatever may be the 
event of the present voyage, in regard to Mrs. Judson's health, 
it is my intention to return to this place as soon as possible." 

After his arrival at Calcutta, Mr. Judson writes as follows 
to Dr. Bolles : 

" About two months ago we commended our little church of 
ten converted Burmans to the protection and blessing of Him 
in whom they have trusted, and with reluctant hearts and 
weeping eyes tore ourselves away from the shores of Burmah. 
Mrs. J.'s illness alone forced us to adopt this measure. She had 
been growing worse for several months. I, at first, intended 
to send her alone to Bengal. But her state finally became so 
alarming that mere humanity seemed to forbid my sending 
her aboard ship without a single female companion or friend, 
to be consigned in all probability to the deep, or buried 
unwept on some foreign shore. I felt that the strictest de- 
votedness to the mission did not forbid my leaving the sta- 
tion for a time, in order to facilitate the recovery of one who 
had been my faithful coadjutor in missionary privation and 
toil for many years, or at least to administer some consola- 
tion to her in the final trial, and perform in person the last 
offices which are due to those we love on earth." 

But these mournful forebodings' were not to be realized. 

The three months spent at Serampore, near Calcutta, 
caused a great improvement in Mrs. Judson's health. The 
two weary missionaries had sweet and restful intercourse 
with the English Baptists stationed there, and with " the 
affectionate family oi Mr. Hough." Mr. Judson's enjoy- 
ment was only marred by his extreme anxiety about " those 
few sheep that I have left in the Burman wilderness." " Oh, 
may the great Shepherd," he prays, " feed the little flock, 
and gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His 

On November 23d Mr. and Mrs. Judson embarked for 
Rangoon, where they arrived January 5, 1821. 


" Our voyage," Mrs. Judson writes, " was tedious and dis- 
tressing above any that we had ever taken. The brig was so 
small and so filled with native passengers that we were un- 
able to obtain the least exercise by walking on deck, and 
was so full of scorpions and centipedes that we never dared 
to shut our eyes to sleep without completely enclosing our- 
selves with curtains. In addition to these inconveniences, 
we had a strong contrary wind and frequently violent squalls, 
with the most terrific thunder and lightning we had ever 
witnessed. We were six weeks in making a passage which 
is generally made in ten or fifteen days." 

After their joyous arrival in Rangoon they plunged once 
more into their missionary work. 

Extracts /i-om yournal. 

^'■January 5, 182 1. As we drew near the town, we strained 
our eyes to distinguish the countenances of our friends amid 
the crowd that we saw assembled on the wharf. The first 
that we recognized was the teacher, Moung Shwa-gnong, 
with his hands raised to his head as he discerned us on the 
deck ; and on landing we met successively with Mah Men-la, 
and Moung Thah-lah, and several others, men, women, and 
children, who, after our usual examination at the custom- 
office, accompanied us to the mission-house. Soon after, 
Moung Nau and others came in, who had not at first heard 
of our arrival. In the evening, I took my usual seat among 
the disciples, and when we bowed down in prayer, the hearts 
of us all flowed forth in gratitude and praise. 

''^January 7. Lord's day. Had worship and administered 
the Lord's supper. Most of the disciples present ; but some 
of them unavoidably detained in consequence of the distress 
which presses upon all ranks of people, occasioned by the 
expedition to Siam. 

^^ January 13. Yesterday Moung Gway, the only one of 
the baptized whom we had not seen, returned from the woods 
on hearing of our arrival ; and I am now able to record (and 
I do it with the most heartfelt satisfaction and grateful praise 


to the preserving Saviour), that, though they have, for the 
space of six months, been almost destitute of the means of 
grace, and those who lived in our yard have been dispersed 
and forced, through fear of heavy extortion and oppression 
from petty officers of Government, to flee into the woods or 
take refuge under some Government person who could pro- 
tect them, yet not one of them has dishonored his profession, 
but all remain firm in their faith and attachment to the cause. 
I do not, however, perceive that any of them have made the 
least advance in any respect whatever ; nor was this to be 
expected, as they have not even enjoyed the privilege of 
meeting for worship. 

"The same remarks are to be made concerning the four 
Nan-dau-gong people, companions of Mah Men-la, who ap- 
peared to be hopefully pious before we left. The doctor. 
Go Yan, with whom we did not feel so well satisfied, has 
been with me repeatedly, and, in the last interview, gave 
good reason to hope that he also is a true convert. He seems 
at length to have obtained light and satisfaction on the two 
difficult points which have so long perplexed him — namely, 
the doctrine of vicarious atonement, and the possibility of 
being a disciple of Christ, by keeping the two commands of 
grace. Repent and believe, without perfectly keeping the 
two immutable commands of merit. Love God entirely, and 
love others as yourself. O how interesting it is to see 
(you can almost see it with your eyes) the light of truth 
dawning upon a precious soul hitherto groping in darkness ! 
If Go Yan prove a true convert, he will be a most precious 
acquisition to our cause, next to Moung Shwa-gnong. He 
is a man of talent and respectability. His words are as 
smooth as oil, as sweet as honey, and as sharp as a razor. 

" In respect to Mah Bike, she has given way to her violent 
temper, and involved her husband in debt ; and though she 
now professes to repent and desire baptism, and though we 
have some hope that she is not destitute of grace, we feel 
obliged at present to put her away from us as a wicked 

" The most important event (and that relates of course to 


Moung Shwa-gnong) remains to be mentioned. It will be 
remembered that he was accused before the former viceroy 
of being a heretic, and that the simple reply, ' Inquire fur- 
ther,' spread dismay amongst us all, and was one occasion of 
our visit to Ava. Soon after Mya-day-men assumed the gov- 
ernment of this province, all the priests and officers of the 
village where Moung Shwa-gnong lives entered into a con- 
spiracy to destroy him. They held daily consultations, and 
assumed a tone of triumph ; while poor Moung Shwa- 
gnong's courage began to flag, and, though he does not like 
to own it, he thought he must flee for his life. At length 
one of the conspiracy, a member of the supreme court, went 
into the presence of the viceroy, and in order to sound his 
disposition, complained that the teacher, Moung Shwa-gnong, 
was making every endeavor to turn the priests' rice-pot bot- 
tom upwards. '■ What consequence V 's.^ixA^Q. Viceroy. '■ Let the 
priests turn it back again.' This sentence was enough ; the 
hopes of the conspiracy were blasted, and all the disciples 
felt that they were sure of toleration under Mya-day-men. 
But his administration will not probably continue many 

^^ January 20. This afternoon Mrs. Judson went to the vil- 
lage of the Nan-dau-gong people to fix on a spot for the 
erection of a small school-house. Mah Men-la has, of her 
own accord, proposed to open a school in the precincts of her 
house, to teach the girls and boys of the village to read ; 
in consequence of which, the latter will not be under the 
necessity of going to the Burman priests for education as 
usual. When we found that she had really made a begin- 
ning, we told her that some of the Christian females in 
America would, doubtless, defray the expenses of the under- 
taking, and make some compensation to the instructress. 
We fear the school will not succeed in the present state of 
the country ; but we regard the voluntary attempt of Mah 
Men-la as illustrative' of the efficiency of evangelical faith. 

" On Tuesday evening we recommenced our usual Tues- 
day and Friday evening prayer-meetings ; but we expect to 
have very few present, as most of the disciples who for- 


merly lived around us are afraid to return on account of tlie 
present general distress, from which we are unable to pro- 
tect them. 

"January 21. Lord's day. All the disciples but one, and 
all the hopeful inquirers; were present at worship ; who, to- 
gether with some others, made up an assembly of about 
twenty-five adults, all paying respectful and devout atten- 
tion ; the most interesting assembly, all things considered, 
that I have yet seen. How impossible it seemed, two years 
ago, that such a precious assembly could ever be raised up 
out of the Egyptian darkness, the atheistic superstition of 
this heathen land ! After worship, two of the Nan-dau-gong 
people had some particular conversation with Moung Thah- 
lah about baptism. Much encouraged by the general ap- 
pearance of things this day. Why art thou ever cast down, 
O my soul ? and why art thou disquieted within me ? Hope 
thou in God — the God of the Burmans, as well as David's 
God ; for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His counte- 
nance, revealed in the salvation of thousands of these im- 
mortal souls. 

"February i6. Moung Ing has returned. He is the second 
Burman whose heart was touched by divine grace. We re- 
joiced to see his face again, notwithstanding his rough and 
unprepossessing appearance, occasioned by the hardships 
through which he has passed since he left us. On his arrival 
at Bike, a town far below Rangoon, he showed his copy of 
Matthew to the Roman Catholic priest stationed there, who 
directly committed it to the flames ; and gave, instead of it, 
a writing of his own device. But, through divine grace, our 
poor. friend retained his integrity, and remained steadfast in 
the sentiments which he formerly embraced. 

"February 20. This is the second evening in which Mrs. 
Judson and myself have had an interview with the viceroy 
and his lady, in their inner apartment. Her highness gave 
us some very encouraging hints on the subject of religious 
toleration, and promised to introduce us to the emperor, on 
his visiting Rangoon, next fall, in prosecution of the war with 


^^ February 25. Lord's day. Moung Ing presented his peti- 
tion for baptism and admission into the church, and we 
unhesitatingly agreed to grant his request next Lord's day. 
Not one of the disciples has given more decided evidence of 
being a sincere and hearty believer in the Lord Jesus. The 
manner of his first acquaintance with the truth is somewhat 
noticeable. I had conversed with two men who visited the 
zayat the preceding evening, and given them a tract. On 
their way home they called at the house of the Tsah-len 
teacher, where Moung Ing resided, said a few things about 
the eternal God and the new religion, by way of disapproval, 
and concluded that the tract was good for nothing but to 
tear up and make cigars of. But the truth which they 
despised fell like a flash of lightning on the benighted soul 
of Moung Ing. The next morning, before sunrise, he was in 
the porch of the zayat, and, on opening the doors, we found 
the poor man standing without. He will not, I trust, meet 
with any such detention at the doors of heaven. 

'■'■March 4. Lord's day. Moung Ing received baptism im- 
mediately after worship in the afternoon. Several of the 
hopeful inquirers witnessed the administration. 

^'- May 15. Dispatched the manuscript of Ephesians, and 
the first part of Acts, to Serampore, requesting brother 
Hough to procure an edition of six hundred of each, at the 
expense of the Board. 

" At night received a visit from Moung Gwa, brother-in-law 
to Moung Shwa-ba. He was accompanied by one Moung 
Thah-ee, an intractable, furious creature, noted for browbeat- 
ing and silencing every antagonist. He professes to be a 
strict Buddhist, without the least doubt on the subject of 
religion ; but having heard of my object in coming to this 
country, wishes to give me an opportunity of making him 
doubt. I found him extremely difficult to manage, and 
finally told him that he must get a humble mind, and pray 
to the true God, or he would never attain true wisdom. This 
threw him into a passion. He said he would have me to 
know that he was no common man. He could dispute with 
governors and kings, etc. I then gave him a tract, which 


he affected to disdain, but finally received it and went 

^'' Alay i6. Moung Gwa called to apologize for his com- 
panion's conduct. He said that, from being always victorious 
in disputation, he had become insolent and overbearing, but 
that he was really inquiring after the truth, and had been 
reading the tract attentively. Moung Gwa himself seems to 
be favorably disposed to the Christian religion. 

"■May 17. Moung Thah-ee spent the whole evening with 
me. I find that he has a strong mind, capable of grasping 
the most difficult subject. He listened to the truth with 
much more attention and patience than at first. 

" May 18. Moung Thah-ee came again, accompanied by 
several of his admirers. At first he behaved with some pro- 
priety, and allowed conversation to proceed in a regular 
manner. But soon he descended into his own native element, 
and stormed and raged. When I found that he would be 
utterly unreasonable, and not permit me even to finish a sen- 
tence, I remained silent, and suffered him to display himself. 
When he was quite exhausted, I took an opportunity to ex- 
hibit a brief view of the reasons which convinced me that the 
religion of Gaudama is false, and the Buddhist scriptures fic- 
titious, and then challenged him to refute my statement. 
But he declined, saying that we were both tired, and he 
would finish the debate some other time. 

'■''May 19. A succession of company all the day. At night, 
Moung Thah-ee came alone, intending to have some private 
conversation ; but no opportunity offered. 

" May 20. Lord's day. Encountered another new charac- 
ter, one Moung Long, from the neighborhood of Shwa-doung, 
a disciple of the great Toung-dwen teacher, the acknowledged 
head of all the semi-atheists in the country. Like the rest of 
the sect, Moung Long is, in reality, a complete skeptic, scarce- 
ly believing his own existence. They say he is always quar- 
relling with his wife on some metaphysical point. For in- 
stance, if she says, * The rice is ready,' he will reply, ' Rice ! 
what is rice ? Is it matter or spirit ? Is it an idea, or is it 
nonentity ? ' Perhaps she will say, ' It is matter'; and he will 


reply, 'Well, wife, and what is matter? Are you sure there 
is such a thing in existence, or are you merely subject to a 
delusion of the senses ?' 

" When he first came in, I thought him an ordinary man. 
He has only one good eye ; but I soon discovered that that 
one eye has as ' great a quantity of being ' as half a dozen 
common eyes. In his manners he is just the reverse of 
Moung Thah-ee — all suavity, and humility, and respect. He 
professed to be an inquirer after the truth ; and I accordingly 
opened to him some parts of the Gospel. He listened with 
great seriousness, and when I ceased speaking, remained so 
thoughtful and apparently impressed with the truth, that I 
began to hope he would come to some good, and therefore 
invited him to ask some question relative to what he had 
heard. ' Your servant,' said he, ' has not much to inquire of 
your lordship. In your lordship's sacred speech, however, 
there are one or two words that your servant does not under- 
stand. Your lordship says, that in the beginning God created 
one man and one woman. I do not understand (I beg your 
lordship's pardon) what a man is, and why he is called a 
man.' My eyes were now opened in an instant to his real 
character ; and I had the happiness to be enabled, for about 
twenty minutes, to lay blow after blow upon his skeptical 
head, with such effect that he kept falling and falling ; and 
though he made several desperate efforts to get up, he 
found himself, at last, prostrate on the ground, unable to 
stir. Moung Shwa-gnong, who had been an attentive listen- 
er, was extremely delighted to see his enemy so well punish- 
ed ; for this Moung Long has sorely harassed him in time 
past. The poor man was not, however, in the least angry at 
his discomfiture, but, in the true spirit of his school, said that, 
though he had heard much of me, the reality far exceeded 
the report. Afterward he joined us in worship, and listened 
with great attention, as did also his wife. 

'■'■May 21. Moung Thah-ee came again, with several 
others ; but he was so outrageous, and vulgar, and abusive, 
that I found it impossible to hold any rational conversation 
with him ; and he finally went away in a great passion, say- 


ing that he had been sent by some men in authority to spy 
us out, and that by to-morrow he would bring us into trouble. 
Such threatenings tend to sink our spirits, and make us 
realize our truly helpless, destitute condition, as sheep in the 
midst of wolves. ' Lord, behold their threatenings,' etc. 

"June 4. Moung Long spent two or three hours with 
me, in which I endeavored to lay before him all the evidences 
of the truth of the Christian religion. His wife proves' to be 
as sharp as himself, and has been harassing Mrs. Judson 
with all sorts of questions about the possibility of sin's find- 
ing entrance into a pure mind, or of its being permitted under 
the government of a holy sovereign. 

" I have this day taken Moung Shwa-ba into the service of 
the mission. He bids fairer than any other member of the 
church to be qualified, in due time, for the ministry. For, 
though inferior to Moung Thah-lah in fluency of speech, and 
to Moung Shwa-gnong in genius and address, he is superior 
to the former in consistency of character and gravity of de- 
portment, and to the latter in experimental acquaintance 
with divine things and devotedness to the cause. But the 
principal trait of character which distinguishes him from the 
rest, and affords considerable evidence that he is called by 
higher authority than that of man to the Christian ministry, 
is his humble and persevering desire for that office — a desire 
which sprang up in his heart soon after his conversion, and 
has been growing ever since. I intend to employ him, at 
present, as an assistant in the zayat, on a small allowance of 
seven or eight rupees a month, which I hope the Board will 
approve of. In that situation he will have an opportunity of 
improving in those qualifications which are requisite to fit 
him to be a teacher of religion among his fellow-country- 

^^Jiine 10. Lord's day. Moung Long again present — all eye 
and ear. Mrs. Judson pronounces his wife superior in point 
of intellect to any woman she has ever met with in Burmah. 

" After evening worship, Mah Myat-Iah presented her peti- 
tion for admission into the church, which was granted, and 
nex: Sunday appointed for her baptism. The evidences of 



her piety are of the most satisfactory kind. We esteem her 
quite as highly as her sister, Mali Men-la, though she is far 
inferior in external qualifications. 

'^'■Juiic II. Moung Long and wife spent most of the day 
with us. Their minds are in a truly hopeful state, though 
still greatly governed by the maxims of the Toung-dwen 
school. Their main inquiry to-day was how they could ob- 
tain faith in Christ. May the Holy Spirit solve their difficul- 
ties, by giving them an experimental acquaintance with that 
saving grace ! 

'■^June 14. An intimate friend of the Woon-gyee-gah-dau 
told Mrs. Judson to-day, in presence of her highness, who by 
silence assented to the correctness of the remark, that when 
the emperor and others in Government said that all might 
believe and worship as they please, the toleration extended 
merely to foreigners resident in the empire, and by no means 
to native Burmans, who, being slaves of the emperor, would 
not be allowed with impunity to renounce the religion of their 
master. This remark accords with all that we have heard at 
Ava, and may be depended on (notwithstanding some private 
encouragement we have received from the viceroy and his 
wife) as affording a correct view of the state of religious tol- 
eration in this country. It is a fact that, except in our own 
private circle, it is not known that a single individual has 
actually renounced Buddhism, and been initiated into the 
Christian religion. 

" Mah Myat-lah informs us that the news of her intended 
baptism has been rumored among her neighbors, and excited 
a great uproar. She is not, however, disheartened, but rather 
wishes that her baptism may not be deferred till Sunday, lest 
some measures be taken to prevent it. I expect that she will 
present herself for baptism to-morrow evening, but am obliged 
to close up this number, as the vessel by which it is conveyed 
is just going down the river. 

" Pray for us and our little church. 

"June 15. According to the purpose mentioned under the 
last date, Mah Myat-lah received baptism, about sunset, at 
the usual place. 


^''July 3. Moung Thah-lah was married to a woman resi- 
dent in our yard, a usual attendant on public worship — the 
event somewhat noticeable, as being probably the first Chris- 
tian marriage ever performed between persons of pure Bur- 
man extraction. 

^^July 14. In the interval of receiving company, I have 
lately been employed in translating ; have finished the Gos- 
pel and Epistles of John, those exquisitely sweet and precious 
portions of the New Testament, and am now employed on 
the latter part of Acts. I find Moung Shwa-ba a most valu- 
able assistant in all parts of missionary work. Moung Shwa- 
gnong also begins * to be dissatisfied with being a mere dis- 
ciple, and hopes that he shall some time be thought worthy 
of being a teacher of the Christian religion.' These two, 
with Mah Men-la, are, at present, the flower of our little 
church. I have no reason, however, to complain of the con- 
duct of any, considering the great disadvantages under which 
they all labor. Some have grown comparatively cold, but 
none have forgotten their first love. Praise forever be to 


" ' Who is faithful to His promises, 
And faithful to His Son.' 

'■'■August 4. Am just recovering from the second fit of 
sickness which I have had this season. The second day after 
I was taken, Mrs. Judson was taken ill ; and for several days 
we lay side by side, unable to help one another. Through 
divine mercy, however, we contrived to get our medicines 
from time to time, and are now in a convalescent state, so 
far as the fever is concerned. Mrs. Judson, however, is suf- 
fering severely, and her disease is making such rapid and 
alarming advances as to preclude all hope of her recovery in 
this part of the world." 

It now became Mr. Judson's painful duty to send his wife 
to America. This would occasion a separation of at least 
two years, but unless it were done the life so dear to him, 
and of such incalculable value to the Burman mission, would 
soon be brought to a close. Mr. Judson writes: 



" The crisis which I have long endeavored to avert has at 
length arrived ; and I find myself under the most distressing 
necessity of giving my consent to Mrs. Judson's departure 

for America I feel that there is no alternative ; and I 

acquiesce in the measure, however painful to our feelings, 
under the full conviction that it is absolutely necessary, in 
order to avert a more painful separation, which might other- 
wise be realized in the course of a very few months — a sepa- 
ration final, and precluding all further hope in this world. 

" Whatever money Mrs. Judson may need in America, I 
beg may be paid to her order on the Treasurer ; and all such 
money I shall pass to the credit of the Board, and deduct 
from my usual allowance I have made such arrange- 
ments as will prevent the necessity of burdening the Board 
with any additional expense on this occasion, except that of 
passages at sea ; and for this my only apology must be the 
extreme necessity of the case. 

" Finally, I beg leave to recommend Mrs. Judson to the 
friends and patrons of the mission, as one who has faithfully 
labored many years in their service, and whose sole object in 
visiting her country once more is to recover her health and 
strength, that she may devote the remainder of her days to 
the promotion of the Redeemer's cause among the perishing 

Mrs. Judson embarked for Calcutta, on her way to Amer- 
ica, August 21, 1821. Mr. Judson commends her to the 
care of Mr. Hough in these humorous and pathetic words : 

" I send you herewith Mrs. Judson, and all that remains of 
the blue pill and senna, and beg you will see the articles all 
well packed and shipped for America by the earliest safe op- 
portunity. Whatever expenses may be incurred be so good 
as to defray from your own funds, and transmit your bill to 

" It is said that man is prone to jest in the depth of misery ; 

and the bon-mots of the scaffold have been collected ; you 

may add the above specimen to the list if you like. I feel as 

if I was on the scaffold, and signing, as it were, my own 



death warrant. However, two years will pass away at last. 
Time and tide wait for no man, heedless alike of our joys 
and sorrows. 

" When I last wrote, I was in the latter part of Acts ; since 
that time, I have done nothing at all. For ten days or a 
fortnight we were laid by with fever, unable to help one 
another ; and since we became convalescent, I have been oc- 
cupied in making up my mind to have my right arm ampu- 
tated, and my right eye extracted, which the doctors say are 
necessary in order to prevent a decay and mortification of 
the whole body conjugal." 

His letters written to his wife during her absence betray 
here and there a sinking even of his buoyant spirits : 

'■''September ^, 1821. I hope you enjoy more religion than 
I do. This heavy affliction does not have that salutary effect 
on my heart which I anticipated. Mercies and judgments 
seem to be thrown away on me, and I am afraid that I shall 
never make much advance in the divine life. I had such a 
view and sense of my depravity this morning as made me 
ready to give up all for lost — not, I mean, as it regards my 
interest in Christ — there I feel strong — but as it regards any 
attainments in holiness, while remaining in this state of sin. 

" Oh ! how consoling it is to give up myself, and you, and 
the interests of the mission, into the faithful hands of Jesus, 
and to look forward to that blessed state, where we are sure 
of meeting, though we should meet no more on earth. The 
Lord reigns, and I feel, at times, that I can safely trust all 
in His hands, and rejoice in whatever may betide. If we 
suffer with Christ we shall also be glorified with Him. 

^'September 12. Company continued with me until after 
three o'clock ; and then I found myself alone, and, for a few 
hours, was very desolate and unhappy. 

" But about sunset, the time mentioned in your last letter 
for mutual prayer, I felt more comfortable." 

" I wish I could always feel as I did last evening, and have 
this morning. At first, on hearing Moung Shwa-gnong's 
story, I felt much disheartened, and thought how pleasant it 



would be if we could find some quiet restin.;--place on earth, 
where we might spend the rest of our days together in peace, 
and perform the ordinary services of religion. But I fled to 
Jesus, and all such thoughts soon passed away. Life is 
short. Happiness consists not in outward circumstances. 
Millions of Burmans are perishing. I am almost the only 
person on earth who has attained their language to such a 
degree as to be able to communicate the way of salvation. 
How great are my obligations to spend and be spent for 
Christ ! What a privilege to be allowed to serve Him in 
such interesting circumstances, and to suffer for Him ! The 
heavenly glory is at hand. O, let me travel through this 
country, and bear testimony to the truth all the way from 
Rangoon to Ava, and show the path to that glory which I 
am anticipating. O, if Christ will only sanctify me and 
strengthen me, I feel that I can do all things. But in myself 
I am absolute nothingness ; and when through grace I get a 
glimpse of divine things, I tremble lest the next moment will 
snatch it quite away. 

" Let us pray especially for one another's growth in grace. 
Let me pray that the trials which we respectively are called 
to endure may wean us from the world, and rivet our hearts 
on things above. Soon we shall be in heaven. O, let us live 
as we shall then wish we had done. Let us be humble, un- 
aspiring, indifferent equally to worldly comfort and the ap- 
plause of men, absorbed in Christ, the uncreated Fountain 
of all excellence and glory." 

Even while on the journey to her dear native land, Mrs. 
Judson cast " a longing, lingering look behind." It was hard 
to leave Rangoon, even to go to America. In a letter to 
Dr. Baldwin, dated Calcutta, December 8, 1S21, she writes: 

"I left Rangoon last August, and arrived in Calcutta on 
the twenty-second of September. My disorder gained ground 
so rapidly, that nothing but a voyage at sea, and the benefit 
of a cold climate, presented the least hope of life. You will 
readily imagine that nothing but the prospect of a final 
separation would have induced us to decide on this measure, 


under circumstances so trying as those in which we were 
placed. But duty to God, to ourselves, to the Board of Mis- 
sions, and to the perishing Burmans, compelled us to adopt 
this course of procedure, though agonizing to all the natural 
feelings of our hearts. On my arrival in Calcutta, inquiries 
were immediately made relative to a voyage to America. 
But, to my great disappointment, I found most of the Amer- 
ican captains far from being disposed to take passengers, on 
account of having their cargoes engaged to the extent of the 
tonnage of their vessels. One captain, however, offered to 
give me a passage for fifteen hundred rupees, but I could not 
think of causing the Board so great an expense. In mention- 
ing my circumstances to Mrs. Thomason, (lady of the Rev. 
Mr. Thomason, chaplain,) she suggested the advantages of a 
voyage to England, on account of the superior accommoda- 
tions, medical advice, and female passengers in English ships. 
The pious captain of a ship bound to England was then 
residing in her family ; with him she consulted, and they 
made arrangements for my passage for five hundred rupees, 
provided I went in a cabin with three children, who were 
going to England. As my only object in going to sea is 
restoration of health, I did not hesitate to secure a passage, 
though I should have rejoiced (since I must take a long voy- 
age) to have gone direct to America. The father of the 
children has since arrived in Calcutta, and has very kindly 
offered to pay the whole price of the cabin (which is four thou- 
sand rupees), which will enable me to go to England, free of 
expense to the Board. If the pain in my side is entirely re- 
moved while on my passage to Europe, I shall return to 
India in the same ship, and proceed immediately to Rarigoon. 
But if not, I shall go over to America, and spend one winter 
in my dear native country. As ardently as I long to see my 
beloved friends in America, I can not prevail on myself to be 
any longer from Rangoon than is absolutely necessary for 
the preservation of my life. I have had a severe struggle 
relative to my immediate return to Rangoon, instead of going 
to England. But I did not venture to go contrary to the 
convictions of reason, to the opinion of an eminent and 


skilful physician, and the repeated injunctions of Mr. 

Mrs. Judson was heartily welcomed by the Christians of 
England, and was entertained at the house of Mr. Butter- 
worth, a member of Parliament, who, afterward referring 
to her in a public address, said that her visit at his house 
reminded him of the words of Scripture : " Be not forgetful 
to entertain strangers, for thereby some have entertained 
angels unawares." 

She arrived in America Sept. 25, 1822, and remained un- 
til the 22d of June, 1823. Her visit in this countrj^ awak- 
ened great missionary enthusiasm, and on her return she 
was accompanied by the two newly-appointed missionaries, 
Mr. and Mrs. Wade. She reached Rangoon on the 5th of 
December, 1823, after an absence of about two years and 
three months. 

She is thus described by Dr. Wayland, who formed a per- 
sonal acquaintance with her during her visit in the United 
States : 

" I do not remember ever to have met a more remarkable woman. To 
great clearness of intellect, large powers of comprehension, and intuitive 
female sagacity, ripened by the constant necessity of independent action, 
she added that heroic disinterestedness which naturally loses all con- 
sciousness of self in the prosecution of a great object. These elements, 
however, were all held in reserve and were hidden from public view by 
a veil of unusual feminine delicacy. To an ordinary observer, she would 
have appeared simply a self-possessed, well-bred, and very intelligent 
gentlewoman. A more intimate acquaintance would soon discover her 
to be a person of profound religious feeling, which was ever manifesting 
itself in efforts to impress upon others the importance of personal piety. 
The resources of her nature were never unfolded until some occasion 
occurred which demanded delicate tact, unflinchmg courage, and a power 
of resolute endurance even unto death. When I saw her, her complexion 
bore that sallow hue which commonly follows residence in the East 
Indies. Her countenance at first seemed, when in repose, deficient in 
expression. As she found herself among friends who were interested in 
the Burman mission, her reserve melted away, her eye kindled, every 


feature was lighted up with enthusiasm, and she was everywhere ac- 
knowledged to be one of the most fascinating of women." 

After Mrs. Judson's departure, Mr. Judson was left alone 
in Rangoon for nearly four months, and continued his la- 
bors in complete solitude. On December 13, 1821, the 
Rev. Jonathan Price, M.D., a medical missionary, arrived 
with his family, and joined the mission. About a month 
later Mr. Hough and his family returned from Calcutta. 
On the 2d of May, 1822, Mrs. Price died, after having been 
in the country only five months, and was buried by the side 
of Mr. Judson's little Roger. Dr. Price's medical skill, 
especially shown in performing operations for cataracts, 
attracted the attention of the Burman emperor at Ava. He 
was summoned to appear at the royal court, and Mr. Jud- 
son thought it best to accompany him, hoping that now the 
king's favor might be secured in behalf of the new religion, 
and that he might even be permitted to plant a mission in 
the capital city. So on August 28, 1822, Mr. Judson set 
out on his second journey to Ava, this time in the company 
of Dr. Price, and at the expense of the Government. In the 
meantime, the number of the native church membership in 
Rangoon had grown from ten to eighteen. His visit to 
Ava, and return to Rangoon, are thus described in his 
journal : 

"After much tedious detention, resulting from our con- 
nection with Government, we reached Ava on the 27th of 
September. We were immediately introduced to the king, 
who received brother Price very graciously, and made many 
inquiries about his medical skill, but took no notice of me, 
except as interpreter. The a-twen-woon Moung Zah, how- 
ever, immediately recognized me, made a few inquiries about 
my welfare, in presence of the king, and, after his majesty 
had withdrawn, conversed a little on religious subjects, and 
gave me some private encouragement to remain at the 

" October x. To-day the king noticed me for the tirst time 



though I have appeared before him nearly ever3^ day since 
our arrival. After making some inquiries, as usual, about 
brother Price, he added, ' And you in black, what are you ? 
A medical man, too?' 'Not a medical man, but a teacher 
of religion, your majesty.' He proceeded to make a few 
inquiries about my religion, and then put the alarming ques- 
tion whether any had embraced it. I evaded, by saying, 
'Not here.' He persisted. 'Are there any in Rangoon?' 
'There are a few.' 'Are they foreigners ? ' I trembled for 
the consequences of an answer, which might involve the little 
church in ruin ; but the truth must be sacrificed, or the con- 
sequences hazarded, and I therefore replied, 'There are some 
foreigners and some Burmans.' He remained silent a few 
moments, but presently showed that he was not displeased, 
by asking a great variety of questions on religion, and 
geography, and astronomy, some of which were answered in 
such a satisfactory manner as to occasion a general expres- 
sion of approbation in all the court present. After his maj- 
esty retired, a than-dau-sen (a royal secretary) entered into 
conversation, and allowed me to expatiate on several topics 
of the Christian religion, in my usual way. And all this 
took place in the hearing of the very man, now an a-twen- 
woon, who, many years ago, caused his uncle to be tortured 
almost to death under the iron mall for renouncing Bud- 
dhism and embracing the Roman Catholic religion; but I 
knew it not at the time, though, from his age, a slight sus- 
picion of the truth passed across my mind. Thanks to God 
for the encouragement of this day ! The monarch of the 
empire has distinctly understood that some of his subjects 
have embraced the Christian religion, and his wrath has 
been restrained. Let us then hope that, as he becomes 
more acquainted with the excellence of the religion, he will 
be more and more willing that his subjects should em- 
brace it. 

" October 3. Left the boat, and moved into the house 
ordered to be erected for us by the king. A mere tempo- 
rary shed, however, it proves to be, scarcely sufficient to 
screen us from the gaze of people without or from the rain 


above. It is situated near the present palace, and joins the 
enclosure of Prince M., eldest half brother of the king. 

" October 4. On our return from the palace, whither we go 
every morning after breakfast, Prince M. sent for me. I 
had seen him once before, in company with brother Price, 
whom he called for medical advice. To-day he wished to 
converse on science and religion. He is a fine young man 
of twenty-eight, but greatly disfigured by a paralytic affec- 
tion of the arms and legs. Being cut off from the usual 
sources of amusement, and having associated a little with 
the Portuguese padres who have lived at Ava, he has ac- 
quired a strong taste for foreign science. My communica- 
tions interested him very much, and I found it difficult to 
get away. 

" October 21. Visited the a-twen-woon Moung Zah, and had 
a long conversation on the religion and customs of foreigners, 
in which I endeavored to communicate as much as possible 
of the Gospel. Upon the whole, he appeared to be rather 
favorably disposed, and, on my taking leave, invited me 
respectfully to visit him occasionally. Thence I proceeded 
to the palace, but met with nothing noticeable, and thence 
to the house of Prince M., with whom I had an hour's unin- 
terrupted conversation. But I am sorry to find that he is 
rather amused with the information I give him, than dis- 
posed to consider it a matter of personal concern. I pre- 
sented him with a tract, which he received as a favor ; and 
finally I ventured to ask him whether Burman subjects Avho 
should consider and embrace the Christian religion would 
be liable to persecution. He replied, ' Not under the reign 
of my brother. He has a good heart, and wishes all to be- 
lieve and worship as they please.' 

" October 23. Had some pleasant conversation with Moung 
Zah in the palace, partly in the hearing of the king. At 
length his majesty came forward, and honored me with some 
personal notice for the second time, inquired much about 
my country, and authorized me to invite American ships to 
his dominions, assuring them of protection, and offering 
every facility for the purposes of trade. 


" October 24. Visited Moung Zah at his house. He treated 
me with great reserve, and repelled all attempts at conversa- 
tion. Afterward called on Prince M., and spent a long time 
with him and the officers in waiting. The whole tract was 
read before them by one of the secretaries. In the after- 
noon, went out of town to visit Moung Shwa-thah, former 
viceroy of Rangoon. During our absence, Prince M. sent to 
our house to call me, saying that a learned pundit was in 
attendance with whom he wished to hear me converse. 

" October 26. While I lay ill some days ago, a young man, 
brother of an officer of Prince M., visited me, and listened 
to a considerable exposition of Gospel truth. Since then he 
has occasionally called, and manifested a desire to hear and 
know more. This evening he came to attend our evening wor- 
ship, and remained conversing till nine o'clock. I hope that 
light is dawning on his mind. He desires to know the truth, 
appears to be, in some degree, sensible of his sins, and has 
some slight apprehension of the love and grace of the Lord 
Jesus Christ. 

" October 28. Spent the forenoon with Prince M. He ob- 
tained, for the first time (though I have explained it to him 
many times), some view of the nature of the atonement, and 
cried out, * Good, good ! ' He then proposed a number of 
objections, which I removed to his apparent satisfaction. 
Our subsequent conversation turned, as usual, on points of 
geography and astronomy. He candidly acknowledged that 
he could not resist my arguments in favor of the Copernican 
system, and that, if he admitted them, he must also admit 
that the Buddhist system was overthrown. In the afternoon, 
visited Prince T. A hopeless case. 

" October 29. Made an introductory visit to the Great 
Prince, so called by way of eminence, being the only brother 
of the queen, and sustaining the rank of chief a-twen-woon. 
Have frequently met him at the palace, where he has treated 
me rather uncourteously ; and my reception to-day was such 
as I had too much reason to expect. 

" October 30. Spent part of the forenoon with Prince M. 
and his wife, the Princess of S., own sister of the king. 


Gave her a copy of Mrs. Judson's Burman catechism, with 
which she was much pleased. They both appear to be some- 
what attached to me, and say, * Do not return to Rangoon, 
but, when your wife arrives, call her to Ava ; the king will 
give you a piece of ground on which to build a kyoung ' (a 
house appropriated to the residence of sacred characters). 
In the evening, they sent for me again, chiefly on account of 
an officer of Government, to whom they wished to intro- 
duce me. 

'■''October 31. Visited the a-twen-woon Moung K., whom 
I have frequently met at the palace, who has treated me 
with distinguished candor. He received me very politely, 
and, laying aside his official dignity, entered into a most 
spirited dispute on various points of religion. He pretended 
to maintain his ground without the shadow of doubt ; but I 
am inclined to think that hS has serious doubts. We parted 
in a very friendly manner, and he invited me to visit him 

'■''November 12. Spent the whole forenoon with Prince 
M. and his wife. Made a fuller disclosure than ever before 
of the nature of the Christian religion, the object of Chris- 
tians in sending me to this country, my former repulse at 
court and the reason of it, our exposure to persecution in 
Rangoon, the affair of Moung Shwa-gnong, etc., etc. They 
entered into my views and feelings with considerable inter- 
est ; but both said, decidedly, that, though the king would 
not himself persecute any one on account of religion, he 
would not give any order exempting from persecution, but 
would leave his subjects, throughout the empire, to the regu- 
lar administration of the local authorities. 

" After giving the prince a succinct account of my religious 
experience, I ventured to warn him of his danger, and urged 
him to make the Christian religion his immediate personal 
concern. He appeared, for a moment, to feel the force of 
what I said, but soon replied, ' I am yet young — only twenty- 
eight. I am desirous of studying all the foreign arts and 
sciences. My mind will then be enlarged, and I shall be 
capable of judging whether the Christian religion be true 01 



not.' ' But suppose your highness changes worlds in the 
meantime?' His countenance again fell. 'It is true,' said 
he, 'I know not when I shall die.' I suggested that it would 
be well to pray to God for light, which, if obtained, would 
enable him at once to distinguish between truth and false- 
hood ; and so we parted. O Fountain of Light, shed down 
one ray into the mind of this amiable prince, that he may be- 
come a patron of Thine infant cause, and inherit an eternal 

'■''November 14. Another interview with Prince M. He 
seemed, at one time, almost ready to give up the religion of 
Gaudama, and listened with much eagerness and pleasure to 
the evidences of the Christian religion. But presently two 
Burman teachers came in, with whom he immediately joined, 
and contradicted all I said, 

^'November 18. Visited the Princess of T., at her particu- 
lar request. She is the eldest own sister of the king, and 
therefore, according to Burman laws, consigned to perpetual 
celibacy. She had heard of me from her brother-in-law, 
Prince M., and wished to converse on science and religion. 
Her chief officer and the mayor of the city were present ; 
and we carried on a desultory conversation, such as necessa- 
rily takes place on the first interview. Her highness treated 
me with uncommon affability and respect, and invited me to 
call frequently. 

"November 26. Have been confined since the 21st with a 
third attack of the fever and ague. To-day went to the 
palace, and presented a petition for a certain piece of ground 
within the walls of the town, ' to build a kyoung on.' The 
king granted it, on condition that the ground should be 
found unoccupied. 

"November 28. Spent the whole day at the palace, in 
endeavoring to secure the ground petitioned for. At night, 
the land-measurer-general's secretary accompanied me to 
ascertain the premises, and make out a plan of the place. 

'■'November 29. The land-measurer-general reported to the 
a-twen-woons that the ground was not actually occupied, 
but, having been the site of a kyoung when formerly the 


City was the seat of Government, must be considered sacred 
and inalienable ; in which opinion nearly all the a-twen- 
woons coincided, notwithstanding the king's decision to the 

" Had an interesting interview with Prince M., and pre- 
sented him with a copy of the last three chapters of Matthew, 
in compliance with his wish to have an account of the death 
and resurrection of Jesus Christ. He appeared concerned 
for our failure to-day in the privy council, but still main- 
tained that, though the ground was sacred, it might with 
propriety be given to a priest, though not a priest of Gau- 
dama, and advised me to make another application to the 

^^ December 25. I have had nothing scarcely of a mission- 
ary nature to notice since the last date, having been em- 
ployed, most of the time (that is, in the intervals of two 
more attacks of fever and ague), in endeavoring to procure 
a piece of ground within the city, but have been defeated at 
every point. 

" In prosecuting this business, I had one noticeable in- 
terview with the king. Brother Price and two English 
gentlemen were present. The king appeared to be attracted 
by our number, and came toward us ; but his conversation 
was directed chiefly to me. He again inquired about the 
Burmans who had embraced my religion. 'Are they real 
Burmans ? Do they dress like other Burmans ? ' etc. I had 
occasion to remark that I preached every Sunday. ' What ! 
in Burman?' 'Yes.' 'Let us hear how you preach.' I hesi- 
tated. An a-twen-woon repeated the order. I began with 
a form of worship which first ascribes glory to God, and 
then declares the commands of the law of the Gospel ; after 
which I stopped. 'Go on,' said another a^twen-woon. The 
whole court was profoundly silent. I proceeded with a few- 
sentences, declarative of the perfections of God, when his 
majesty's curiosity was satisfied, and he interrupted me. In 
the course of subsequent conversation, he asked what I had 
to say of Gaudama. I replied, that we all knew he was the 
son of King Thog-dan-dah-nah ; that we regarded him as a 



wise man and a great teacher, but did not call him God. 
' That is right,' said Moung K. N., an a-twen-\voon who has 
not hitherto appeared very friendly to me. And he pro- 
ceeded to relate the substance of a long communication 
which I lately made to him, in the privy council room, about 
God and Christ, etc. And this he did in a very clear and 
satisfactory manner, so that I had scarcely a single correction 
to make in his statement. Moung Zah, encouraged by all 
this, really began to take the side of God before his majesty, 
and said, * Nearly all the world, your majesty, believe in an 
eternal God, all, except Burmah and Siam, these little spots ! ' 
His majesty remained silent, and after some other desultory 
inquiries, he abruptly arose, and retired. 

'■^January 2, 1823. To-day I informed the king that it was 
my intention to return to Rangoon. ' Will you proceed 
thence to your own country?' 'Only to Rangoon.' His 
majesty gave an acquiescing nod. The a-twen-woon Moung 
Zah inquired, ' Will you both go, or will the doctor remain .'' 
I said that he would remain. . Brother Price made some re- 
mark on the approaching hot season, and the inconvenience 
of our present situation ; on which Moung Zah, inferring 
that it was on account of the climate that I was about leav- 
ing, turned to me, saying, 'Then you will return here, after 
the hot season.' I looked at the king, and said that if it was 
convenient, I would return ; which his majesty again sanc- 
tioned by an acquiescing nod and smile, and in reply to 
brother Price, said, * Let a place be given him.' Brother 
Price, however, thinks of retaining the small place on whicli 
we now live for medical purposes, and getting a place at 
Chagaing, on the opposite side of the river, for his permanent 

" In the evening had a long conversation with Moung Zah 
on religion. He believes that there is an eternal God, and 
that Gaudama, and Christ, and Mahomet, and others are 
great teachers, who communicated as much truth respective- 
ly as they could, but that their communications are not the 
word of God. I pressed my arguments as far as I dared ; 
but he seemed to have reflected much on the subject, and to 


have become quite settled and inflexible in his conclusions. 
He may be called a deistic Buddhist, the first that I have 
met in the country. On parting, however, he remarked, 
'This is a deep and difficult subject. Do you, teacher, con- 
sider further, and I also will consider.' 

'^^ January 7. Among the many places which I endeavored 
in vain to procure was a small one, sufficient for one family 
only, pleasantly situated on the banks of the river, just with- 
out the walls of the town, and about a mile from the palace. 
But it had been appropriated by the chief woon-gyee, and 
partly fenced in, with the intention of building a temporary 
zayat for his recreation and refreshment, when accompany- 
ing the king in that quarter of the city, and was, therefore, 
placed beyond any reasonable hope of attainment. Among 
other de'sperate attempts, however, I wrote a short petition, 
asking for that place, and begging leave to express my grat- 
itude, by presenting a certain sum of money. It was neces- 
sary to put this into his own hand ; and I was, therefore, 
obliged to follow him about, and watch his movements, for 
two or three days, until a favorable opportunity occurred, 
when he was apart from all his retinue. I seized the mo- 
ment, presented myself before him, and held up the paper. 
He read it, and smiled. 'You are indefatigable in your search 
after a place. But you can not have that. It is for my own 
use. Nor, if otherwise, could you get it for money. Search 
further.' I now concluded to return to Rangoon for the 
present, and wait until the town should be settled, v/hen, as 
all inform me, I shall be able to accommodate myself better. 
I accordingly informed the king of my purpose, as mentioned 
above, and began to look about for a boat. In the mean- 
time, it occurred to me to make a ' seventh attempt to fix the 
thread,' and I sought another interview with the chief woon- 
gyee, a being who is really more difficult of access than the 
king himself. This evening I was so fortunate as to find him 
at his house, lying down, surrounded by forty or fifty of his 
people. I pressed forward into the foremost rank, and 
placed myself in a proper attitude. After a while, his eye 
fell upon me, and I held up a small bottle of eau de luce, and 


desired to present it. One of his officers carried it to him. 
He happened to be much pleased with it, and sat upright. 
* What kind of a house do you intend to build ? ' I told him. 
but added, ' I have no place to build on, my lord.' He re- 
mained in a meditating attitude a few moments, and then 
suddenly replied, ^ If you watit the little enclosure, take it/' I 
expressed my gratitude. He began to take more notice of 
me, inquired about my character and profession, and then 
entered, with considerable spirit, on the subject of religion. 
After some conversation, he desired a specimen of my mode 
of worship and preaching ; and I was obliged to repeat much 
more than I did before the king ; for whenever I desisted, he 
ordered me to go on. When his curiosity was satisfied, he 
lay down, and I quietly retired. 

^^ January 8. After taking the best advice, Burman and 
foreign, I weighed out the sum of money mentioned in the 
private petition, together with the estimated expense of 
fencing the place given me by the woon-gyee, and in the 
evening carried it to his house, where I was again fortunate 
in finding him in the same position as yesterday evening. A 
few noblemen and their attendants were present, which pre- 
vented me from immediately producing the money. His 
excellency soon took notice of me, and from seven o'clock 
till nine, the time was chiefly occupied in conversation on 
religious subjects. I found opportunity to bring forward 
some of my favorite arguments, one of which, in particular, 
seemed to carry conviction to the minds of all present, and 
extorted from the great man an expression of praise ; such 
praise, however, as is indicative of surprise rather than ap- 
probation. When the company retired, my people at the 
outer door overheard one say to another, * Is it not pleasant 
to hear this foreign teacher converse on religion?' 'Ay,' 
said the other, * but his doctrines are derogatory to the honor 
of Lord Gaudama.' When they were gone, I presented the 
money, saying that I wished to defray the expense of fencing 
the ground, which had been graciously given me. His excel- 
lency was pleased with the offer, but gently declined accept- 
ing anything. He then looked steadily at me, as if to pene- 


trate into the motives of my conduct, and recollecting the 
manoeuvres of the first English settlers in Bengal, thought 
he had discovered something. ' Understand, teacher, that 
we do not give you the entire owning of this ground. We- 
take no recompense, lest it become Americafi territory. We give 
it to you for your present residence only, and, when you go 
away, shall take it again.' ' When I go away, my lord, those 
at whose expense the house is to be built, will desire to place 
another teacher in my stead.' 'Very well, let him also oc- 
cupy the place ; but when he dies, or when there is no 
teacher, we will take it.' ' In that case, my lord, take it.' 

"January lo. Spent the whole of yesterday and to-day 
with various secretaries and officers of Government in get- 
ting actual possession of the ground given me. 

''January 13. Built a small house, and stationed one of 
the disciples and family to keep the place during my absence. 

"January 18. Removed to Chagaing, into a house which 
Prince M. has allowed brother Price to build on his ground, 
in expectation that a change of air and residence would re- 
lieve me from the fever and ague, under which I suffer nearly 
every other day. It is my intention, however, to return im- 
mediately to Rangoon, the time being nearly expired which 
I at first proposed to spend in Ava, and the ends for which I 
came up being sufficiently gained. 

"January 22. Took leave of Prince M. He desired me to 
return soon, and bring with me all the Christian Scriptures, 
and translate them into Burman. ' For,' said he, ' I wish to 
read them all.' 

"January 24. Went to take leave of the king, in company 
with Mr. L., collector of the port of Rangoon, who arrived 
last evening. We sat a few moments conversing together. 
'What are you talking about?' said his majesty. 'He is 
speaking of his return to Rangoon,' replied Mr. L. ' What 
does he return for ? Let him not return. Let them both 
[that is, brother Price and myself] stay together. If one 
goes away, the other must remain alone, and will be un- 
happy,' ' He wishes to go for a short time only,' replied Mr. 
L., ' to bring his wife, the female teacher, and his goods, not 



having brought anj'thing with him this time ; and he will 
return soon.' His majesty looked at me. ' Will you, then, 
come again ? ' I replied in the aflnrmative. * When you 
come again, is it your intention to remain permanently, or 
will you go back and forth, as foreigners commonly do ? ' 
' When I come again, it is my intention to remain perma- 
nently.' 'Very well,' said his majesty, and withdrew into 
his inner apartment. 

" Heard to-day of the death of Mah Myat-lah, sister of 
Mah Men-la, one of the most steadfast of the church in 

"/am/arj 25. Embarked on a small boat, intending to go 
day and night, and touch nowhere, in order to avoid the rob- 
bers, of which we have lately had alarming accounts. 

^^ February 2. Lord's day. At one o'clock in the morning 
reached Rangoon, seven days from Ava. 

"A letter from Mrs. Judson, in England, informs me that 
she is going to America, and will not be here under several 
months. I propose, therefore, waiting her return, and occu- 
pying the interval in finishing the translation of the New 

The way now seemed open to establish a mission in Ava. 
Mr. Judson always longed to go into the " regions beyond." 
The Houghs and the Wades could sufficiently care for the 
infant church at Rangoon. Why not plant a church in the 
heart of the empire, under the shelter of the throne? A 
letter to Dr. Baldwin discloses this daring purpose : 

"Rangoon, February 11, 1S23. 

"Rev. and dear Sir: My last to you was written just 
before we left Rangoon for Ava. 

"You will learn from my journal, forwarded herewith to 
the Corresponding Secretary, the particulars of our visit to 
Ava. Sufifice it here to say that the Lord has been gracious 
to us beyond our expectation. My reception, as a minister 
of religion, has been very different from what it was before. 
A liberal and candid spirit seems to prevail among all the 
members of the royal family, and among many of the leading 


members of Government. It is distinctly understood by the 
king, and by all who have any knowledge of me at all, that I 
am a thah-tha-nah-pyoo-tsayah, that is, a religion-propagat- 
ing teacher ; and yet I have been smiled on, and listened to, 
and, by order of the king himself, have received from the 
chief public minister of state the grant of a small piece of 
ground, for the express purpose of building a kyoung (a 
house appropriated to sacred characters). It is my intention, 
therefore, to return thither as soon as Mrs. Jiulson arrives, 
who, I hear, has gone on to America. And in the meantime, I 
shall occupy myself in finishing the translatiiMi of the New 
Testament — a work which I left unfinished with gieal reluc- 
tance, and which I rejoice to have leisure to resume. 

" During my absence, one of the best of our church nu-m- 
bers, the sister of Mah Men-la, was called from this world to 
join, I trust, the church triumphant. She died in p(\ue and 
joy, professing her belief in Jesus Christ, aiul saying that slie 
should soon be with Him in heaven. 

" During the whole of my residence at Ava, 1 was scvcMily 
afflicted at intervals with the fever and ague. 1 (.lid hoiie 
that a change of climate would effect my cure ; but the dis- 
order has followed me to Rangoon, and I am subject to it 
every other day. Brother Price was apprehensive that it 
would terminate fatally, having resisted every medical appli- 
cation, and become so deeply rooted ; and he woiiUl havt- ac- 
companied me hither, had I not dissuaiUnl him. My only 
hope now is, that it will exhaust itself lieforc my constitution 
is exhausted ; but the Lord's will be done. T could wish to 
live to finish the New Testament, and T should also be happy 
to see a little church raised up in Ava, as there has beim in 
Rangoon. But the ways of God arc not as the ways of man. 
He does all things well. G! -y be to Ills holy nanK- forever- 

But before going to Ava, he must await Mrs. Jii(ls(Mrs 
arrival. Ten months intervened bdwccMi his rdnrn from 
Ava and her arrival at Rangoon, hmiii;' this liun- lie coin- 
pletcd the translation of the New 'reslaniciil into IWii incsc, 


.in. I pivp.uiHl M\ c\'>\\o\\\c ol [\w OKI l\-st,iuu'ul. whivli 
iui;;lu scM\c> .IS .III iutiovhu lu>u lo llu'shi,l\ ol \\w Nfw. 
On \\\c \ \{\\ o{ hrviMuh^-i, iS.';. tMj;hl <l.i\ s .illri i\h>;. Jiiil. 
son's .uii\Ml. hr S(i out in iompjn\' wil h lu-f tin Av.i, w hi-ii' 
thi-\- ,u ri\ I'll on |.niu.u\- .' >. i.'>"|. Ilus n\.uk»-»l ,n> ^poi h 
\\\ Mr. Juilson's lilo. llis .utK-nt , .ul ivr (ciniu-i.iniiiit 
to 1h> sub)0(.-tril to tlu' iinnliK'ol p.issi\o *■ , .nul 
wo iu>\v p.iss lioni tlu- ii-mid ot l\is ,uti\ilirs to llir -.Ioin >>I 
his sulTcrin5^;.s. 



When Mr. and Mrs. Judson left Rangoon to establish 
their home in Ava, the outlook was encouraging. They 
had left behind them a small but vigorous church of eighteen 
converted Burmans, under the care of Mr. and Mrs. Hough, 
and Mr. and Mrs. Wade. They had been invited by the 
king to live in the capital city, and had received from him 
a plot of ground on which to build a mission-house. They 
felt sure of royal protection and favor. Many persons of 
high rank seemed kindly disposed to the new religion ; 
while Dr. Price had won golden opinions by his medical 

They immediately commenced the building of a little 
dwelling-house, and Mrs. Judson soon had a school of three 
native girls. Mr. Judson preached in Burmese every Sun- 
day at Dr. Price's house, and held worship every evening. 
The journey up the Irrawaddy and the beginning of their 
life in Ava are described in the following fragment from a 
letter written by Mrs. Judson to her parents and sisters : 

"Ava, February re, 1824. 

"After two years and a half wandering, you will be pleased 
to hear that I have at last arrived at home, so far as this life 
is concerned, and am once more quietly and happily settled 
with Mr. Judson. 

"We had a quick and pleasant passage from Calcutta tc 
Rangoon. Mr. Judson's boat was all in readiness, my bag- 



gage was immediately taken from the ship to the boat, and 
in seven days from my arrival we were on our way to the 
capital. Our boat was small and inconvenient ; but the 
current at this season is so very strong, and the wind always 
against us, that our progress was slow indeed. The season, 
however, was cool and delightful ; we were preserved from 
dangers by day and robbers by night, and arrived in safety 
in six weeks. The A-rah-wah-tee (Irrawadi) is a noble 
river ; its banks everywhere covered with immortal beings, 
destined to the same eternity as ourselves. We often walked 
through the villages, and though we never received the 
least insult, always attracted universal attention. A foreign 
female was a sight never before beheld, and all were anx- 
ious that their friends and relatives should have a view. 
Crowds followed us through the villages, and some, who 
were less civilized than others, would run some way before 
us in order to have a long look as we approached them. In 
one instance, the boat being some time in doubling a 
point we had walked over, we seated ourselves, when the 
villagers, as usual, assembled, and Mr. Judson introduced 
the subject of religion. Several old men who were present 
entered into conversation, while the multitude was all at- 
tention. The apparent schoolmaster of the village coming 
up, Mr. Judson handed him a tract, and requested him to 
read. After proceeding some way, he remarked to the as- 
sembly that such a writing was worthy of being copied, and 
asked Mr. Judson to remain while he copied it. Mr. Judson 
informed him he might keep the tract, on condition he read 
it to all his neighbors. We could not but hope the Spirit of 
God would bless those few simple truths to the salvation of 
some of their souls. 

"Our boat was near being upset in passing through o'le 
of the rapids with which this river abounds. The rudder 
became entangled in the rocks, which brought the boat 
across the stream and laid her on one side. The steersman, 
however, had presence of mind sufficient to cut the rudder 
from the boat, which caused her to right, without experienc- 
ing any other inconvenience than a thorough fright and the 


loss of our breakfast, which was precipitated from the fire- 
place into the water, together with everything on the out- 
side of the boat. 

" On our arrival at Ava, we had more difficulties to en- 
counter, and such as we had never before experienced. We 
had no home, no house to shelter us from the burning sun 
by day and the cold dews at night. Dr. Price had kindly 
met us on the way, and urged our taking up our residence 
with him ; but his house was in such an unfinished state, and 
the walls so damp (of brick, and just built), that spending 
two or three hours threw me into a fever, and induced me to 
feel that it would be presumption to remain longer. We had 
but one alternative — to remain in the boat till we could build 
a small house on the spot of ground which the king gave 
Mr. Judson last year. And you will hardly believe it possi- 
ble—for I almost doubt my senses — that, in just a fortnight 
from our arrival, we moved into a house built in that time, 
and which is sufficiently large to make us comfortable. It is 
in a most delightful situation, out of the dust of the town, 
and on the bank of the river. The spot of ground given by 
his majesty is small, being only one hundred and twenty feet 
long and seventy-five wide ; but it is our own, and is the 
most healthy situation I have seen. Our house is raised four 
feet from the ground, and consists of three small rooms and 
a veranda. 

" I hardly know how we shall bear the hot season, which 
is just commencing, as our house is built of boards, and be- 
fore night is heated like an oven. Nothing but brick is a 
shelter from the heat of Ava, where the thermometer, even 
in the shade, frequently rises to a hundred and eight de- 
grees. We have worship every evening in Burman, when a 
number of the natives assemble ; and every Sabbath Mr. 
Judson preaches the other side of the river in Dr. Price's 
house. We feel it an inestimable privilege, that amid all 
our discouragements we have the language, and are able 
constantly to communicate truths which can save the soul. 

" My female school has already commenced with three little 
girls, who are learning to read, sew, etc. Two of them are 



sisters, and we have named them Mary and Abby Hasseltine. 
One of them is to be supported with the money which the 
'Judson Association of Bradford Academy' have engaged 
to collect. They are fine children, and improve as rapidly 
as any children in the world. Their mother is deranged, 
and their father gave them to me to educate, so that I have 
been at no expense for them excepting their food and clothes. 
I have already begun to make inquiries for children, and 
doubt not we shall be directed in regard to our school." 

The following letter from Mr. Judson to Dr. Baldwin 
shows, however, that a dark cloud was gathering on the 
horizon : 

" AvA, February 19, 1824. 

" My last was dated the 7th of December, a few days after 
Mrs, J.'s arrival in Rangoon. We left on the 13th ensuing, 
and were six weeks on the journey. A few days below Ava, 
brother Price met us in a small boat, having heard of our 
approach. From him we first learned that all the A-hucn- 
woons, the privy council of the king, had been turned out of 
office, and a new set appointed, with whom we had no ac- 
quaintance or interest. Various occurrences had conspired 
to render the king somewhat disaffected toward foreigners. 
Brother Price has made but little advance in the royal favor. 
On my appearing at the palace, I found that a year had 
made great changes. My old friends and advocates before 
the king were missing. Very few recognized me. At length 
his majesty came forward, just spoke to me, and accepted a 
small present. But I have seen him twice since without ob- 
taining a word or look. 

" The only persons who ever received me with real cordi- 
ality are Prince M. and his wife ; but even they are not much 
disposed to converse on religion. 

"I have public worship every Lord's day at brother Price's, 
as he is able, from his acquaintance with the neighbors 
around him, to collect an assembly of a dozen or twenty, 
including two or three of the disciples who accompanied us 
from Rangoon. 


'' But my time has been hitherto almost wholly occupied 
in getting up something to shelter us on the lot formally 
assigned me b)' the Government. It will be necessary also 
to build a small brick house as soon as possible, and to use 
every other precaution against the heat, which is so intense 
during the months of April, May, and June, as to raise the 
thermometer to one hundred and eight and ten in the shade. 

"A misunderstanding has existed for several months be- 
tween this and the Bengal Government. Troops have 
marched from both sides to the frontiers. War appeared at 
one time to be certain, but the latest accounts are rather 
pacific. In the case of actual war, as the distinction between 
Americans and Englishmen is pretty well understood in this 
place, we hope we shall not be considered as implicated, and 
suffer no other inconvenience than that of having all com,- 
munication with our friends cut off, except in case of war's 
reaching the capital, when we shall be exposed to the vicis- 
situdes and dangers incident to such a state. 

" But in all cases, we trust that we have a few dear friends 
at home who bear us on their hearts at the throne of grace, 
and a still dearer and greater Friend at the right hand of 
the Divine Presence in Heaven, who is touched with the feel- 
ing of our infirmities, and will graciously succor us in the 
time of trouble and make us come off conquerors at last. 

" But, my dear and venerable friend and brother and 
father, you are, from long experience, more able than I am 
to taste the sweetness of this precious truth ; and your ad- 
vanced age, and the grace of Christ, enable you to hope that 
you will ere long be allowed to adopt the triumphant lan- 
guage of the Apostle Paul. Pray for me, that I may be ac- 
counted worthy to hold out to the end, and finally meet 
with you before the throne, and handle a harp of gold in 
the dear Redeemer's praise." 

Mr. Judson's forebodings were well founded. War soon 
broke out between Burmah and the English Government in 
India. For two years after the writing of the above letter, 
the Christians of America were kept in a state of terrible 



suspense, unbroken by any tidings from their missionaries 
in Ava, which was only assuaged by fervent and universal 
prayer on their behalf. 

The occasion of the war was Chittagong, that particular 
strip of low land lying along the sea and flanking Burmah 
on the west, and to which Mr. Colman had gone to prepare 
an asylum for the Judsons in case they should be driven 
out of Rangoon. This district was under British rule, and 
refugees from the cruel despotism of Burmah had taken 
shelter there. The Burman monarch insisted that his vic- 
tims should be arrested by the English authorities and 
handed over to him. Besides, he felt that Chittagong be- 
longed naturally to Burmah. And such was his pride and 
his contempt for British prowess, that he deemed it quite 
possible for him not only to recover this territory, but even 
to conquer the whole of Bengal. 

When war actually broke out, suspicion fell at once on all 
the white foreigners residing in Ava. They were thought 
to be spies secretly acting in collusion with the English 
Government. They were immediately arrested, fettered, 
and thrown into the death-prison. 

" I was seized," Dr. Judson writes, " on the 8th of June, 
1824, in consequence of the war with Bengal, and in com- 
pany with Dr. Price, three Englishmen, one American, and 
one Greek, was thrown into the death-prison at Ava, where 
we lay eleven months — nine months in three pairs, and two 
months in five pairs of fetters. The scenes we witnessed 
and the sufferings we underwent during that period I would 
fain consign to oblivion. From the death-prison at Ava, 
we were removed to a country prison at Oung-pen-la, ten 
miles distant, under circumstances of such severe treatment, 
that one of our number, the Greek, expired on the road ; and 
some of the rest, among whom was myself, were scarcely 
able to move for several days. It was the intention of the 
Government, in removing us from Ava, to have us sacrificed 


in order to insure victory over the foreigners ; but the sud- 
den disgrace and death of the adviser of that measure 
' prevented its execution. I remained in the Oung-pen-la 
prison six months in one pair of fetters ; at the expiration 
of which period, I was taken out of irons, and sent under a 
•strict guard to the Burmese headquarters at Mah-looan, to 
act as interpreter and translator. Two months more elapsed, 
when, on my return to Ava, I was released at the instance of 
Moung Shwa-Ioo, the north governor of the palace, and put 
under his charge. During the six weeks that I resided with 
him, the affairs of the Government became desperate, the 
British troops making steady advances on the capital ; and 
after Dr. Price had been twice dispatched to negotiate for 
peace (a business which I declined as long as possible), I was 
taken by force and associated with him. We found the 
British above Pah-gan ; and on returning to Ava with their 
final terms, I had the happiness of procuring the release of 
the very last of my fellow-prisoners ; and on the 21st inst. 
obtained the reluctant consent of the Government to my 
final departure from Ava with Mrs. Judson." 

In these few modest words Mr. Judson passes over all 
the prolonged horrors which he endured in the confinement 
of an Oriental jail. Let us glance at his experience more in 
detail. His imprisonment was remarkable for its duration. 
For nine months he was confined in three pairs of fetters, 
two months in five, six months in one; for two months he 
was a prisoner at large ; and for nearly two months, although 
released from prison, he was yet restrained in Ava under 
the charge of the north governor of the palace, so that his 
confinement reached nearly to. the end of twenty-one long 

Again, for most of the time of his confinement, he was 
shut up in a loathsome, wretched place. 

" It derives its remarkable, well-selected name, Let-ma-yoon 
— literally interpreted, hand, shri?ik not — from the revolting 
scenes of cruelty practiced within its walls. To those ac- 


quainted with the Burmese language, the name conveys a 
peculiar impression of terror. It contemplates the extreme 
of human suffering, and when this has reached a point at 
which our nature recoils — when it is supposed that any one 
bearing the human form might well refuse to be the instru- 
ment to add to it, the hand of the executioner is apostro- 
phized and encouraged not to follow the dictates of the 
heart : ' Thine eye shall not pity and thine hand not spare.' " * 

The Let-ma-yoon was a building about forty feet long and 
thirty feet -wide. It was five or six feet high along the 
sides, but as the roof sloped, the centre of it was perhaps 
double that height. There was no ventilation except 
through the chinks between the boards and through the 
door, which was generally closed. On the thin roof poured 
down the burning rays of a tropical sun. In this room 
were confined nearly one hundred prisoners of both sexes 
and all nationalities. Dr. Price thus describes the impres- 
sions he received on entering the prison : 

" A little bamboo door opened, and I rose to go toward it. But oh ! 
who can describe my sensations ! shackled like a common felon, in the 
care of hangmen, the offscouring of the country, turned like a dog into 
his kennel, my wife, my dear family, left to suffer alone all the rudeness 
such wretches are capable of. The worst, however, was yet to come ; 
for making the best of my way up the high steps, I was ushered into the 
grand apartment. Horror of horrors, what a sight ! never to my dying 
day shall I forget the scene : a dim lamp in the midst, just making dark- 
ness visible, and discovering to my horrified gaze sixty or seventy 
wretched objects, some in long rows made fast in the stocks, some strung 
on long poles, some simply fettered ; but all sensible of a new acquisi- 
tion of misery in the approach of a new prisoner. Stupefied, I stopped 
to gaze till, goaded on, I proceeded toward the further end, when I again 
halted. A new and unexpected sight met my eyes. Till now I had 
been kept in ignorance of the fate of my companions. A long row of 
white objects, stretched on the floor in a most crowded situation, revealed 
to me, however, but too well their sad state, and I was again urged for- 
ward. Poor old Rodgers, wishing to retain the end of the bamboo, 
made way fo" me to be placed alongside of Mr. Judson. ' We all hoped 

* Goug-p.r's " Narrative of Imprisonment in Burmah." 


you would have escaped, you were so long coming,' was the first friendly 
salutation I had yet received ; but alas, it was made by friends whose 
sympathy was now unavailable." 

The following description of the interior of this jail is 
given by an English fellow-prisoner of Mr. Judson : 

" The only articles of furniture the place contained were these : First, 
and most prominent, was a gigantic row of stocks, similar in its con- 
struction to that formerly used in England, but now nearly extinct ; 
though dilapidated specimens may still be seen in some of the market- 
places of our own country towns. It was capable of accommodating 
more than a dozen occupants, and like a huge alligator opened and shut 
its jaws with a loud snap upon its prey. Several smaller reptiles, inter- 
esting varieties of the same species, lay basking around this monster, 
each holding by the leg a pair of hapless victims consigned to its custody. 
These were heavy logs of timber, bored with holes to admit the feet, and 
fitted with wooden pins to hold them fast. In the centre of the apart- 
ment was placed a tripod, holding a large earthen cup filled with earth- 
oil, to be used as a lamp during the night-watches ; and lastly, a simple 
but suspicious-looking piece of machinery whose painful uses it was my 
fate to test before many hours had elapsed. It was merely a long bam- 
boo suspended from the roof by a rope at each end, and worked by 
blocks or pulleys, to raise or depress it at pleasure. 

" Before me, stretched on the floor, lay forty or fifty hapless wretches, 
whose crimes or misfortunes had brought them into this place of torment. 
They were all nearly naked, and the half-famished features and skele- 
ton frames of many of them too plainly told the storj- of their protracted 
sufferings. Very few were without chains, and some had one or both 
feet in the stocks besides. A sight of such squalid wretchedness can 
hardly be imagined. Silence seemed to be the order of the day ; per- 
haps the poor creatures were so engrossed with their own misery that 
they hardly cared to make any remarks on the intrusion of so unusual an 
inmate as myself. 

" If the ensetjzble be difficult to portray, the stench was absolutely in- 
describable, for it was not like anything which exists elsewhere in crea- 
tion. I will therefore give the facts, and leave the reader's nose to 
understand them by a synthetic course of reasoning — if it can. 

" The prison had never been washed, nor even swept, since it was 
built. So I was told, and have no doubt it was true; for, besides the 
ocular proof from its present condition, it is certain no attempt was made 
to cleanse it during my subsequent tenancy of eleven months.. This gave 
a kind of fixedness or permanency to the fetid odors, until the very floors 


and walls were saturated with them, and joined in emitting- the pest. 
Putrid remains of castaway animal and vegetable stuff, which needed no 
broom to make it move on — the stale fumes from thousands of tobacco- 
pipes — the scattered ejections of the pulp and liquid from their everlast- 
ing betel, and other nameless abominations, still more disgusting, which 
strewed the floor — and if to this be added the exudations from the bodies 
of a crowd of never-washed convicts, encouraged by the thermometer at 
100°, in a den almost without ventilation — is it possible to say what it 
smeli like ? 

" As might have been expected from such a state of things, the place 
was teeming with creeping vermin to such an extent that very soon 
reconciled me to the plunder of the greater portion of my dress." 

Surely it were enough for Mr. Judson to be shut up in 
the hot, stifling stench of a place like this without having 
his ankles and legs weighted with five pairs of irons, the 
scars from which he wore to his dying day. He could say 
with the Apostle Paul, " I bear in my body the marks of the 
Lord Jesus." In each pair of fetters the two iron rings 
were connected by a chain so short that the heel of one foot 
could hardly be advanced to the toe of the other ; and this 
task could be accomplished only by '* shuffling a few inches 
at a time." The five pairs of irons weighed about fourteen 
pounds, and when they were removed after being long worn, 
there was a strained sensation, the equilibrium of the body 
seemingly destroyed, so that the head was too heavy for the 
feet. Then at nightfall, lest the prisoners should escape, 
they were strung (to use Dr. Price's graphic if not elegant 
expression) on a bamboo pole. 

"When night came on," writes one of Mr. Judson's fellow-prisonp'-s, 
" the ' Father ' of the establishment, entering, stalked toward our comer. 
The meaning of the bamboo now became apparent. It was passed be- 
tween the legs of each individual, and when it had threaded our number, 
seven in all, a man at each end hoisted it up by the blocks to a height 
which allowed our shoulders to rest on the ground, while our feet de- 
pended from the iron rings of the fetters. The adjustment of the height 
was left to the judgment of our kind-hearted parent, who stood by to see 
that it was not high enough to endanger life, nor low enough to exempt 
fiom pain In the morning, our considerate parent made his ap- 


pearance, and, with his customary grin, lowered down the bamboo to 
within a foot of the fioor, to the great relief of our benumbed limbs, in 
which the blood slowly began again to circulate." 

When Mr. Judson was subjected to these indignities and 
tortures, he was in the very prime of hfe — thirty-six years 
old. He had come to that age when a good physical con- 
stitution is thoroughly seasoned and well qualified to endure 

He had always taken the best care of his health consistent 
with the performance of his multiform duties. Even before 
leaving America, he had adopted the following rules : First, 
frequently to inhale large quantities of air, so as to expand 
the lungs to the uttermost ; secondly, daily to sponge the 
whole body in cold water ; and thirdly, and above all, to 
take systematic exercise in walking. 

Again, he had that tough, wiry physique which endures 
unexpectedly even during prolonged crises. All this was in 
his favor. But, on the other hand, he was a student, unused 
to suffering hardship. His naturally vigorous constitution 
had been somewhat enfeebled by ten years of close applica- 
tion to study in a tropical climate, and of late years had 
been completely shattered by repeated blows of fever and 
ague. He was reared in the cold, bracing air of New Eng- 
land, and during the tedious hours of imprisonment, how 
often must his memory have projected the sufferings of the 
Oriental jail against the background of the cool, green hill- 
sides of his childhood. For 

. . . . " this is truth the poet sings, 
That a sorrow's crown of sorrow is remembering happier things." 

And his was an active, methodical nature, to which the 
enforced idleness of twenty-one months must have brought 
the keenest torture. There was his Burman Bible unfinish- 
ed, and ten years of work in Rangoon going to pieces in his 
absence. He longed to be preaching the Gospel. Now that 
he had at last completely mastered the native tongue, he 


was filled with Jeremiah's consuming zeal. " His word was 
in mine heart, as a burning fire shut up in my bones." 

Endowed with a nervous temperament, his nature was 
exceedingly sensitive to discomfort. One of his fellow- 
prisoners says: " His painful sensitiveness to anything gross 
or uncleanly, amounting almost to folly, was an unfortunate 
virtue to possess, and made him live a life of constant mar- 
tyrdom." Of his personal habits, Mrs. E. C. Judson says: 

" His predilection for neatness, uniformity, and order 
amounted, indeed, to a passion. Then he had an innate sort 
of refinement about him, which would subject him to annoy- 
ance when a less sensitive person would only be amused — a 
most inconvenient qualification for a missionary. This pas- 
sion for order — which I should rather consider an unconquer- 
able love for the beautiful and elegant, studiously perverted 
^displayed itself rather oddly after the means for its natural 
gratification and development were cut off. Nobody ever 
luxuriated more in perfectly spotless linen, though, partly 
from necessity, and partly because there was a suspicion 
among his friends that he would wear no other, it was always 
coarse. The tie of the narrow black ribbon, which he wore 
instead of a neckcloth, was perfect, and the ribbon itself 
would not have soiled the purest snow, though it was often 
limp and rusty from frequent washing. His general dress was 
always clean, and adjusted with scrupulous exactness, though 
it often looked as if it might have belonged to some rustic of 
the last century, being of the plainest material, and in 
fashion the American idea of what was proper for a mission- 
ary, perpetuated in broad caricature by a bungling Bengalee 
tailor. Most people thought that he dressed oddly from a 
love of eccentricity ; but the truth is, he was not in the least 
aware of anything peculiar in his costume, never seeing him- 
self in a mirror larger than his pocket toilet-glass. He could 
see his feet, however ; and his shoes never had a spot on 
their polish, nor the long, white, carefully-gartered stockings 
a wrinkle, much less a stain. In the construction and ar- 
rangement of his unique studying apparatus, which w^as 

2 24 ^^^^ ^^^^ OF ADONIRAM JUDSON. 

composed of two long, narrow boxes mounted on a teak 
table, there was the same mixture of plainness with neatness 
and order, and, what was rather conspicuous in all his ar- 
rangements, a wonderful capacity for convenience. No one 
ever thought of invading his study corner ; for he dusted his 
books and papers himself, and knew so well where everything 
was placed, that he could have laid his hand upon the small- 
est article in the darkest night." 

A nature amply endowed with these fine sensibilities 
must have instinctively shrunk from the filth of the dungeon 
and the squalor of the prisoners ; while the constrained and 
crowded position, night and day, and the galling fetters, 
were almost unendurable. 

There was also much to shock his moral nature. He 
found himself thrown into close association with the basest 
criminals of the Burman capital. His pure look rested 
upon their repulsive features, his reluctant ears were filled 
with their vulgar and blasphemous jests. Besides this, 
again and again he saw the wretched prisoner tortured with 
the cord and the mallet, and was forced to hear the writhing 
victim's shriek of anguish. 

Again, he was a man of the strongest and tenderest affec- 
tions. What keen mental anguish must he have experienced 
at the thought of his beloved wife threading alone the hot, 
crowded streets, hourly exposed to the insults of rude Bur- 
man officials ; day by day bringing or sending food to the 
jail ; assuaging the wretchedness of the prisoners by bribing 
their keepers ; pleading for the release of her husband with 
one Burman officer after another, and with such pathetic 
eloquence that on one occasion she melted to tears even the 
old governor of the prison ; giving birth to her babe during 
a confinement of only twenty days ; carrying her little Maria 
all the way in her arms to that " never-to-be-forgotten place," 
Oung-pen-la, her only conveyance a rough cart, the violent 
motion of which, together with the dreadful heat and dust, 
made her almost distracted ; nursing her infant and the little 



native girls under her care through a course of small-pox ; 
and at last, broken down herself, and brought to death's 
door by the same loathsome disease, succeeded by the dread 
spotted fever. 

Add to these horrors of Mr. Judson's imprisonment the 
daily and even hourly anticipation of torture and death, and 
it will be difficult to conceive of a denser cloud of miseries 
than that which settled down on his devoted head. The 
prisoners knew that they were arrested as spies. The Bur- 
man king and his generals were exasperated by the rapid 
and unexpected successes of the English army, and Mr. 
Judson and his fellow-prisoners had every reason to suppose 
that this pent-up fury would be poured upon their heads. 
It was customary to question the prisoner with instruments 
of torture — the cord and the iron mallet. Rumors of a 
frightful doom were constantly sounding in their ears. Now 
they heard their keepers during the night sharpening the 
knives to decapitate the prisoners the next morning ; now 
the roar of their mysterious fellow-prisoner, a huge, starving 
lioness, convinced them that they were to be executed by 
being thrown into her cage ; now it was reported that they 
were to be burned up together with their prison as a sacri- 
fice ; now that they were to be buried alive at the head of 
the Burman army in order to insure its victory over the 
English. The following description by Mr. Gouger of the 
solerr^i hour of three, shows the exquisite mental torture to 
which the prisoners were subjected : 

"Within the walls nothing worthy of notice occurred until the hour of 
three in the afternoon. As this hour approached, we noticed that the 
talking and jesting of the community gradually died away ; all seemed 
to be under the influence of some powerful restraint, until that fatal hour 
was announced by the deep tones of a powerful gong suspended in the 
palace- yard, and a death-like silence prevailed. If a word was spoken 
it was in a whisper. It seemed as though even breathing vv^ere suspended 
under the control of a panic terror, too deep for expression, which per- 
vaded every bosom. We did not long remain in ignorance of the cause. 
If any of the prisoners were to suffer death that day, the hour of three 


was that at which they were taken out for execution. The very manner 
of it was the acme of cold-blooded cruelty. The hour was scarcely tolled 
by the gong when the wicket opened, and the hideous figure of a spotted 
man appeared, who, without uttering a word, walked straight to his vic- 
tim, now for the first time probably made acquainted with his doom. 
As many of these unfortunate people knew no more than ourselves the 
fate that awaited them, this mystery was terrible and agonizing ; each 
one fearing, up to the last moment, that the stride of the spot might be 
directed his way. When the culprit disappeared with his conductor, and 
the prison door closed behind them, those who remained began again to 
breathe more freely ; for another day, at least, their lives were safe. 

" I have described this process just as I saw it practiced. On this 
first day, two men were thus led away in total silence ; not a useless 
question was asked by the one party, nor explanation given by the other ; 
all was too well understood. After this inhuman custom was made 
known to us, we could not but participate with the rest in their diurnal 
misgivings, and shudder at the sound of the gong and the apparition of 
the pahquet. It was a solemn daily lesson of an impressive character, 
' Be ye also ready.' " 

It is no wonder that Mr. Judson in the midst of these 
horrors took refuge in the quietism of Madame Guyon, 
and used often to murmur her beautiful lines : 

" No place I seek, but to fulfil 
In life, and death, Thy lovely will ; 
No succor in my woes I want. 
Except what Thou art pleased to gram 
Our days are numbered— let us spare 
Our anxious hearts a needless care ; 
'Tis Thine to number out our days. 
And ours to give them to Thy praise." 

His sublime faith in God never faltered. One of his 
fellow-captives thus writes of him : 

"Often he expressed to me such sentiments as these: ' Think what 
the consequences of this invasion must be. Here have I been ten years 
preaching the Gospel to timid listeners who wished to embrace the 
truth, but dared not ; beseeching the emperor to grant liberty of con- 
science to his people, but without success ; and now, when all human 
means seemed at an end, God opens the way by leading a Christian 
nation to subdue the country. It is possible that my life may be spared ; 


if so, with what ardor and gratitude shall I pursue my work ; and if not, 
His will be done ; the door will be opened for others who will do the 
work better. " 

The following letter from Mrs. Judson to her brother 
tells the story of the imprisonment, and forms, perhaps, the 
most thrilling recital to be found in the annals of missions : 

" Rangoon, May 26, 1S26. 

" I commence this letter with the intention of giving you 
the particulars of our captivity and sufferings at Ava. How 
long my patience will allow my reviewing scenes of disgust 
and horror, the conclusion of this letter will determine. I 
had kept a journal of everything that had transpired from 
our arrival at Ava, but destroyed it at the commencenaent of 
our difficulties. 

" The first certain intelligence we received of the declara- 
tion of war by the Burmese was on our arrival at Tsen-pyoo- 
kywon, about a hundred miles this side of Ava, where part 
of the troops under the command of the celebrated Bandoola 
had encamped. As we proceeded on our journey, we met 
Bandoola himself with the remainder of his troops, gaily 
equipped, seated on his golden barge, and surrounded by a 
fleet of golden war-boats, one of which was instantly dis- 
patched from the other side of the river to hail us, and make 
all necessary inquiries. We were allowed to proceed quietly 
on, when we had informed the messenger that we were 
Americans, not English, and were going to Ava in obedience 
to the command of his majesty. 

*' On our arrival at the capital, we found that Dr. Price was 
out of favor at court, and that suspicion rested on most of 
the foreigners then at Ava. Your brother visited at the 
palace two or three times, but found the king's manner 
toward him very different from what it formerly had been ; 
and the queen, who had hitherto expressed wishes for my 
speedy arrival, now made no inquiries after me, nor intimated 
a wish to see me. Consequently, I made no effort to visit at 
the palace, though almost daily invited to visit some of the 
branches of the royal family, who were living in their 


own houses, out of the palace enclosure. Under these 
circumstances, we thought our most prudent course lay in 
prosecuting our original intention of building a house, and 
commencing missionary operations as occasions offered, thus 
endeavoring to convince the Government that we had really 
nothing to do with the present war. 

" In two or three weeks after our arrival, the king, queen, 
all the members of the royal family, and most of the officers 
of Government, returned to Amarapoora, in order to come 
and take possession of the new palace in the customary style. 
As there has been much misunderstanding relative to Ava 
and Amarapoora, both being called the capital of the Bur- 
mese empire, I will here remark that the present Ava was 
formerly the seat of Government ; but soon after the old king 
had ascended the throne, it was forsaken, and a new palace 
built at Amarapoora, about six miles from Ava, in which he 
remained during his life. In the fourth year of the reign of 
the present king, Amarapoora was in its turn forsaken, and a 
new and beautiful palace built at Ava, which was then in 
ruins, but is noiv the capital oi the Burmese empire. The king 
and royal family had been living in temporary buildings at 
Ava, during the completion of the new palace, which gave 
occasion for their returning to Amarapoora. 

"For several weeks nothing took place to alarm us, and we 
went on with our school. Mr. Judson preached every Sab- 
bath ; all the materials for building a brick house were pro- 
cured, and the masons had made considerable progress in 
raising the building. 

" On the 23d of May, 1824, just as we had concluded worship 
at the doctor's house, the other side of the river, a messenger 
came to inform us that Rangoon was taken by the English. 
The intelligence produced a shock, in which was a mixture of 
fear and joy. Mr. Gouger, a young merchant residing at 
Ava, was then with us, and had much more reason to fear 
than the rest of us. We all, however, immediately returned 
to our house, and began to consider what was to be done. 
Mr. G. went to Prince Thah-ya-wa-dee, the king's most in- 
fluential brother, who informed him he need not give himself 



any uneasiness, as he had mentioned the subject to his 
majesty, who had replied, that 'the few foreigners residing 
at Ava had nothing to do with the war, and should not be 

" The Government were now all in motion. An army of 
ten or twelve thousand men, under the command of the kyee- 
woon-gyee, were sent off in three or four days, and were to 
be joined by the sakyah-woon-gyee, who had previously been 
appointed viceroy of Rangoon, and who was on his way 
thither when the news of its attack reached him. No doubt 
was entertained of the defeat of the English ; the only fear 
of the king was, that the foreigners, hearing of the advance 
of the Burmese troops, would be so alarmed as to flee on 
board their ships and depart, before there would be time to 
secure them as slaves. ' Bring for me,' said a wild young 
buck of the palace, 'six kala-pyoos [white strangers] to row 
my boat.' 'And to me,' said the lady of a woon-gyee, 'send 
four white strangers to manage the affairs of my house, as I 
understand they are trusty servants.' The war-boats, in high 
glee, passed our house, the soldiers singing and dancing, 
and exhibiting gestures of the most joyous kind. ' Poor 
fellows!' said we, 'you will probably never dance again.' 
And it so proved, for few, if any, ever again saw their native 

"As soon as the army were dispatched, the Government 
began to inquire the cause of the arrival of the strangers at 
Rangoon. There must be spies in the country, suggested 
some, who had invited them over. And who so likely to be 
spies as the Englishmen residing at Ava ? A report was in 
circulation that Captain Laird, lately arrived, had brought 
Bengal papers which contained the intention of the English 
to take Rangoon, and it was kept a secret from his majesty. 
An inquiry was instituted. The three Englishmen, Gouger, 
Laird, and Rogers, were called and examined. It was found 
they had seen the papers, and were put in confinement, though 
not in prison. We now began to tremble for ourselves, and 
were in daily expectation of some dreadful event. 

"At length Mr. Judson and Dr. Price were summoned to 


a court of examination, where strict inquiry was made rela- 
tive to all they knew. The great point seemed to be whether 
they had been in the habit of making communications to 
foreigners of the state of the country, etc. They answered, 
they had always written to their friends in America, but had 
no correspondence with English officers, or the Bengal 
Government. After their examination they were not put in 
confinement, as the Englishmen had been, but were allowed 
to return to their houses. In examining the accounts of Mr. 
Gouger, it was found that Mr. Judson and Dr. Price had 
taken money of him to a considerable amount. Ignorant as 
were the Burmese of our mode of receiving money by orders 
on Bengal, this circumstance, to their suspicious minds, was 
a sufficient evidence that the missionaries were in the pay of 
the English, and very probably spies. It was thus repre- 
sented to the king, who, in an angry tone, ordered the im- 
mediate arrest of the 'two teachers.' 

" On the 8th of June, just as we were preparing for dinner, 
in rushed an officer, holding a black book, with a dozen Bur- 
mans, accompanied by one, whom, from his spotted face, we 
knew to be an executioner, and a ' son of the prison.' 'Where 
is the teacher?' was the first inquiry. Mr. Judson presented 
himself. 'You are called by the king,' said the officer — a 
form of speech always used when about to arrest a criminal. 
The spotted man instantly seized Mr. Judson, threw him on 
the floor, and produced the small cord, the instrument of 
torture. I caught hold of his arm. 'Stay,' said I; 'I will 
give you money.' 'Take her too,' said the officer ; 'she also 
is a foreigner.' Mr. Judson, with an imploring look, begged 
they would let me remain till.further orders. The scene was 
now shocking beyond description. The whole neighborhood 
had collected ; the masons at work on the brick house threw 
down their tools, and ran ; the little Burman children were 
screaming and crying ; the Bengalee servants stood in amaze- 
ment at the indignities offered their master ; and the hard- 
ened executioner, with a kind of hellish joy, drew tight the 
cords, bound Mr. Judson fast, and dragged him off I knew 
not whither. In vain I begged and entreated the spotted 



face to take the silver, and loosen the ropes ; but he spurned 
my offers, and immediately departed. I gave the money, 
however, to Moung Ing to follow after, to make some further 
attempt to mitigate the torture of Mr. Judson ; but instead 
of succeeding, when a few rods from the house, the unfeeling 
wretches again threw their prisoner on the ground, and drew 
the cords still tighter, so as almost to prevent respiration. 

"The officer and his gang proceeded on to the court-house, 
where the governor of the city and officers were collected, 
one of whom read the order of the king to commit Mr. Jud- 
son to the death-prison, into which he was soon hurled, the 
door closed, and Moung Ing saw no more. What a night was 
now before me ! 1 retired into my room, and endeavored to 
obtain consolation from committing my case to God, and im- 
ploring fortitude and strength to suffer whatever awaited me. 
But the consolation of retirement was not long allowed me, 
for the magistrate of the place had come into the veranda, 
and continually called me to come out, and submit to his ex- 
amination. But previously to going out, I destroyed all my 
letters, journals, and writings of every kind, lest they should 
disclose the fact that we had correspondents in England, and 
had minuted down every occurrence since our arrival in the 
country. When this work of destruction was finished, I went 
out, and submitted to the examination of the magistrate, who 
inquired very minutely of everj^thing I knew ; then ordered 
the gates of the compound to be shut, no person to be allowed 
to go in or out, placed a guard of ten ruffians, to whom he gave 
a strict charge to keep me safe, and departed. 

" It was now dark. I retired to an inner room with my 
four little Burman girls, and barred the doors. The guard 
instantly ordered me to unbar the doors and come out, or 
they would break the house down. I obstinately refused to 
obey, and endeavored to intimidate them by threatening to 
complain of their conduct to higher authorities on the mor- 
row. Finding me resolved in disregarding their orders, they 
took the two Bengalee servants, and confined them in the 
stocks in a very painful position. I could not endure this, 
but called the head man to the window, and promised to 


make them all a present in the morning, if they would release 
the servants. After much debate, and many severe threaten- 
ings, they consented, but seemed resolved to annoy me as 
much as possible. My unprotected, desolate state, my entire 
uncertainty of the fate of Mr. Judson, and the dreadful 
carousings and almost diabolical language of the guard, all 
conspired to make it by far the most distressing night I had 
ever passed. You may well imagine, my dear brother, that 
sleep was a stranger to my eyes, and peace and composure 
to my mind. 

' The next morning I sent Moung Ing to ascertain the situ- 
ation of your brother, and give him food, if still living. He 
soon returned, with the intelligence that Mr. Judson and all 
the white foreigners were confined in the death-prison, with 
three pairs of iron fetters each, and fastened to a long pole, 
to prevent their moving ! The point of my anguish now was, 
that I was a prisoner myself, and could make no efforts for 
the release of the missionaries. I begged and entreated the 
magistrate to allow me to go to some member of Government 
to state my case ; but he said he did not dare to consent, for 
fear I should make my escape. I next wrote a note to one 
of the king's sisters, with whom I had been intimate, request- 
ing her to use her influence for the release of the teachers. 
The note was returned, with this message : she ' did not 
understand it'; which was a polite refusal to interfere ; 
though I afterward ascertained that she had an anxious de- 
sire to assist us, but dared not, on account of the queen. The 
day dragged heavily away, and another dreadful night was 
before me. I endeavored to soften the feelings of the guard 
by giving them tea and cigars for the night ; so that they 
allowed me to remain inside of my room without threaten- 
ing, as they did the night before. But the idea of your 
brother being stretched on the bare floor, in irons and con- 
finement, haunted my mind like a spectre, and prevented my 
obtaining any quiet sleep, though nature was almost ex- 

" On the third day I sent a message to the governor of the 
city, who has the entire direction of prison affairs, to allow 


me to visit him with a present. This had the desired effect, 
and he immediately sent orders to the guards to permit my 
going into town. The governor received me pleasantly, and 
asked me what I wanted I stated to him the situation of 
the foreigners, and particularly that of the teachers, who 
were Americans, and had nothing to do with the war. He 
told me it was not in his power to release them from prison 
or irons, but that he could make their situation more com- 
fortable ; there was his head officer, with whom I must con- 
sult relative to the means. The officer, who proved to be 
one of the city writers, and whose countenance at the first 
glance presented the most perfect assemblage of all the evil 
passions attached to human nature, took me aside and en- 
deavored to convince me that myself, as well as the prison- 
ers, was entirely at his disposal ; that our future comfort 
must depend on my liberality in regard to presents ; and that 
these must be made in a private way, and unknown to any 
officer in the Government! 'What must I do,' said I, 'to 
obtain a mitigation of the present sufferings of the two 
teachers ? ' ' Pay to me,' said he, * two hundred ticals [about 
a hundred dollars], two pieces of fine cloth, and two pieces 
of handkerchiefs.' I had taken money with me in the morn- 
ing ; our house being two miles from the prison, I could not 
easily return. This I offered to the writer, and begged he 
would not insist on the other articles, as they were not in my 
possession. He hesitated for some time ; but fearing to lose 
the sight of so much money, he concluded to take it, promis- 
ing to relieve the teachers from their most painful situation. 
" I then procured an order from the governor for my ad- 
mittance into prison ; but the sensations produced by meet- 
ing your brother, in that wretched, horrid situation, and the 
affecting scene which ensued, I will not attempt to describe.* 

* Mr. Gouger, a fellow-prisoner with Mr. Judson, thus describes this pathetic meet. 
Ing : " It so happened, that at the moment of their interview outside the wicket-door, I 
had to hobble to the spot to receive my daily bundle of provisions, and the heart-rend- 
ing scene which I there beheld was one that it is impossible to forget. Poor Judson 
was fastidiously neat and cleanly in his person and apparel, just the man to depict 
the metamorphosis he had undergone in these two wretched days in its strongest con- 
trast. When Mrs. Judson had parted from him he was in the enjoyment of these 


Mr. Judson crawled to the door of the prison — for I was never 
allowed to enter — gave me some directions relative to his 
release ; but before we could make any arrangement, I was 
ordered to depart by those iron-hearted jailers, who could 
not endure to see us enjoy the poor consolation of meeting 
in that miserable place. In vain I pleaded the order from 
the governor for my admittance ; they again harshly repeated, 
'■ Depart, or we will pull you out.' The same evening the 
missionaries, together with the other foreigners, who paid an 
equal sum, were taken out of the common prison, and con- 
fined in an open shed in the prison enclosure. Here I was 
allowed to send them food, and mats to sleep on, but was not 
permitted to enter again for several days. 

" My next object was to get a petition presented to the 
queen ; but no person being admitted into the palace who 
was in disgrace with his majesty, I sought to present it 
through the medium of her brother's wife. I had visited her 
in better days, and received particular marks of her favor. 
But now times were altered ; Mr. Judson was in prison, and 
I in distress, which was a sufficient reason for giving me a 
cold reception. I took a present of considerable value. She 
was lolling on her carpet as I entered, with her attendants 
around her. I waited not for the usual question to a suppliant, 
'What do you want?' but in a bold, earnest, yet respectful 
manner, stated our distresses and our wrongs, and begged 
her assistance. She partly raised her head, opened the present 
I had brought, and coolly replied, ' Your case is not singular ; 
all the foreigners are treated alike.' ' But it is singular,' said 
I; 'the teachers are Americans; they are ministers of re- 
ligion, have nothing to do with war or politics, and came to 

jjersonal comforts, whereas now none but an artist could describe his appearance. 
Two nights of restless torture of body and anxiety of mind had imparted to his coun- 
tenance a haggard and death-like expression, while it would be hardly decent to advert 
in more than general terms to his begrimed and impure exterior. No wonder his 
wretched wife, shocked at the change, hid her face in her hands, over%vhelmed with 
grief, hardly daring to trust herself to look upon him. Perhaps the part I myself sus- 
tained in the picture may have helped to rivet it on my memory, for though more 
than thirty-five years have since passed away, it reverts to me with all the freshness of 
a scene of yesterday." 


Ava in obedience to the king's command. They have nevei 
done anything to deserve such treatment, and is it right they 
should be treated thus ?' 'The king does as he pleases,' said 
she ; ' I am not the king ; what can I do ? ' ' You can state 
their case to the queen, and obtain their release,' replied I. 
* Place yourself in my situation ; were you in America, your 
husband, innocent of crime, thrown into prison, in irons, and 
3'ou a solitary, unprotected female, what would you do ? ' 
With a slight degree of feeling, she said, 'I will present your 
petition ; come again to-morrow.' I returned to the house 
with considerable hope that the speedy release of the mis- 
sionaries was at hand. But the next day, Mr. Gouger's 
property, to the amount of fifty thousand rupees, was taken 
and carried to the palace. The officers, on their return, 
politely informed me they should visit our house on the mor- 
row. I felt obliged for this information, and accordingly 
made preparations to receive them, by secreting as many 
little articles as possible, together with considerable silver, 
as I knew, if the war should be protracted, we should be in a 
state of starvation without it. But my mind was in a dread- 
ful state of agitation lest it should be discovered, and cause 
my being thrown into prison. And had it been possible to 
procure money from any other quarter, I should not have 
ventured on such a step. 

" The following morning, the royal treasurer, the governor 
of the north gate of the palace, who was in future our steady 
friend, and another nobleman, attended by forty or fifty fol- 
lowers, came to take possession of all we had. I treated them 
civilly, gave them chairs to sit on, tea and sweetmeats for 
their refreshment ; and justice obliges me to say that they 
conducted the business of confiscation with more regard to 
my feelings than I should have thought it possible for Bur- 
mese officers to exhibit. The three officers, with one of the 
royal secretaries, alone entered the house ; their attendants 
were ordered to remain outside. They saw I was deeply 
affected, and apologized for what they were about to do by 
saying it was painful for them to take possession of prop- 
erty not their own, but they were compelled thus to do by 


order of the king. ' Where are your silver, gold, and jewels ? ' 
said the royal treasurer. * I have no gold or jewels ; but 
here is the key of a trunk which contains the silver ; do with 
it as you please.' The trunk was produced, and the silver 
weighed. 'This money,' said I, ' was collected in America 
by the disciples of Christ, and sent here for the purpose of 
building a kyoung [the name of a priest's dwelling], and for 
our support while teaching the religion of Christ. Is it suit- 
able that you should take it ? ' The Burmese are averse to 
taking what is offered in a religious point of view, which was 
the cause of my making the inquiry. 'We will state this cir- 
cumstance to the king,' said one of them, * and perhaps he 
will restore it. But is this all the silver you have?' I could 
not tell a falsehood. ' The house is in your possession,' I 
replied ; * search for yourselves.' ' Have you not deposited 
silver with some person of your acquaintance ? ' ' My ac- 
quaintances are all in prison ; with whom should I deposit 
silver?' They next ordered my trunk and drawers to be 
examined. The secretary only was allowed to accompany 
me in this search. Everything nice or curious which met 
his view was presented to the officers for their decision 
whether it should be taken or retained. I begged they would 
not take our wearing apparel, as it would be disgraceful to 
take clothes partly worn into the possession of his majesty, 
and to us they were of unspeakable value. They assented, 
and took a list only, and did the same with the books, medi- 
cines, etc. My little work-table and rocking-chair, presents 
from my beloved brother, I rescued from their grasp, partly 
by artifice and partly through their ignorance. They left, 
also, many articles which were of inestimable value during 
our long imprisonment. 

"As soon as they had finished their search and departed, 
I hastened to the queen's brother to hear what had been the 
fate of my petition, when, alas ! all my hopes were dashed 
by his wife's coolly saying, ' I stated your case to the queen, 
but her majesty replied, " The teachers will not die ; let them 
remain as they are." ' My expectations had been so much ex- 
cited, that this sentence was like a thunder-clap to my feel- 



ings. For the truth at one glance assured me that if the 
queen refused assistance, who would dare to intercede for 
me ? With a heavy heart I departed, and on my way home 
attempted to enter the prison-gate to communicate the sad 
tidings to your brother, but was harshly refused admittance ; 
and for the ten days following,, notwithstanding my daily 
efforts, I was not allowed to enter. We attempted to com- 
municate by writing, and after being successful for a few 
days, it was discovered ; the poor fellow who carried the 
communications was beaten and put in the stocks, and the 
circumstance cost me about ten dollars, besides two or three 
days of agony for fear of the consequences. 

" The officers who had taken possession of our property 
presented it to his majesty, saying, ' Judson is a true teacher ; 
we found nothing in his house but what belongs to priests. 
In addition to this money there are an immense number of 
books, medicines, trunks of wearing apparel, etc., of which 
we have only taken a list. Shall we take them or let them 
remain?' 'Let them remain,' said the king, 'and put this 
property by itself, for it shall be restored to him again if he 
is found innocent.' This was in allusion to the idea of his 
being a spy. 

"For two or three months following, I was subject to con- 
tinual harassments, partly through my ignorance of police 
management, and partly through the insatiable desire of 
every petty officer to enrich himself through our misfortune?. 
When the officers came to our house to confiscate our prop- 
erty, they insisted on knowing how much I had given the 
governor and prison officers to release the teachers from the 
inner prison. I honestly told them, and they demanded the 
sum from the governor, which threw him into a dreadful 
rage, and he threatened to put all the prisoners back into 
their original place. I went to him the next morning, and 
the first words with which he accosted me were, ' You are 
very bad ; why did you tell the royal treasurer that you had 
given me so much money ? ' ' The treasurer inquired ; what 
could I say?' I replied. 'Say that you had given nothing,' 
said he, ' and I would have made the teachers comfortable 


in prison ; but now I know not what will be their fate.' ' Bui 
I can not tell a falsehood,' I replied; 'my religion differs 
from yours ; it forbids prevarication ; and had you stood by 
me with your knife raised, I could not have said what you 
suggest.' His wife, who sat by his side, and who always, from 
this time, continued my firm friend, instantly said, 'Very 
true ; what else could she have done ? I like such straight- 
forward conduct ; you must not,' turning to the governor, 
'be angry Avith her.' I then presented the governor with a 
beautiful opera-glass I had just received from England, and 
begged his anger at me would not influence him to treat the 
prisoners with unkindness, and I would endeavor, from time 
to time, to make him such presents as would compensate for 
his loss. ' You may intercede for your husband only ; for 
your sake he shall remain where he is ; but let the other 
prisoners take care of themselves.' I pleaded hard for Dr. 
Price ; but he would not listen, and; the same day, had him 
returned to the inner prison, where he remained ten days. 
He was then taken out, in consequence of the doctor's prom- 
ising a piece of broadcloth, and my sending two pieces of 

"About this period I was one day summoned to the Lut- 
d'hau in an official way. What new evil was before me I 
knew not, but was obliged to go. When arrived, 1 was 
allowed to stand diX. the bottom of the stairs, as no female is 
permitted to ascend the steps, or even to stand, but sit on 
the ground. Hundreds were collected around. The officer 
who presided, in an authoritative voice began : ' Speak the 
truth in answer to the questions I shall ask. If you speak 
true, no evil will follow ; but if not, your life will not be 
spared. It is reported that you have committed to the care 
of a Burmese officer a string of pearls, a pair of diamond 
earrings, and a silver teapot. Is it true ? ' ' It is not,' I re- 
plied ; 'and if you or any other person can produce these 
articles, I refuse not to die.' The officer again urged the 
necessity of ' speaking true.' I told him I had nothing more 
to say on the subject, but begged he would use his influence 
to obtain the release of Mr. Judson from prison. 


"I returned to the house with a heart much lighter than I 
went, though conscious of my perpetual exposure to such 
harassments. Notwithstanding the repulse I had met in my 
application to the queen, I could not remain without making 
continual efforts for your brother's release, while there was 
the least probability of success. Time after time my visits 
to the queen's sister-in-law were repeated, till she refused to 
answer a question, and told me by her looks I had better 
keep out of her presence. For the seven following months, 
hardly a day passed that I did not visit some one of the 
members of Government, or branches of the royal family, in 
order to gain their influence in our behalf ; but the only 
benefit resulting was, their encouraging promises preserved 
us from despair, and induced a hope of the speedy termina- 
tion of our difficulties, which enabled us to bear our dis- 
tresses better than we otherwise should have done. I ought, 
however, to mention that, by my repeated visits to the dif- 
ferent members of Government, I gained several friends, 
who were ready to assist me with articles of food, though in 
a private manner, and who used their influence in the palace 
to destroy the impression of our being in any way engaged 
in the present war. But no one dared to speak a word to 
the king or queen in favor of a foreigner while there were 
such continual reports of the success of the English arms. 

"During these seven months, the continual extortions and 
oppressions to which your brother and the other white pris- 
oners were subject are indescribable. Sometimes sums of 
money were demanded, sometimes pieces of cloth and. hand- 
kerchiefs ; at other times an order would be issued that the 
white foreigners should not speak to each other, or have any 
communication with their friends without. Then, again, the 
servants- were forbidden to carry in their food without an 
extra fee. Sometimes, for days and days together, I could 
not go into the prison till after dark, when I had two miles 
to walk in returning to the house. O, how many, many 
times have I returned from that dreary prison at nine o'clock 
at night, solitary, and worn out with fatigue and anxiety, 
and thrown myself down in that same rocking-chair which 


you and Deacon L. provided for me in Boston, and endeav- 
ored to invent some new scheme for the release of the pris- 
oners. Sometimes, for a moment or two, my thoughts would 
glance toward America, and my beloved friends there ; but 
for nearly a year and a half, so entirely engrossed was every 
thought with present scenes and sufferings, that I seldom 
reflected on a single occurrence of my former life, or recol- 
lected that I had a friend in existence out of Ava. 

" The war was now prosecuted with all the energy the 
Burmese Government possessed. New troops were continu- 
ally raised and sent down the river, and as frequent reports 
returned of their being all cut off. But that part of the Bur- 
mese army stationed in Arracan, under the command of Ban- 
doola, had been more successful. Three hundred prisoners, 
at one time, were sent to the capital, as an evidence of the 
victory that had been gained. The king began to think that 
none but Bandoola understood the art of fighting with for- 
eigners ; consequently, his majesty recalled him, with the 
design of his taking command of the army that had been sent 
to Rangoon. On his arrival at Ava, he was received at court 
in the most flattering manner, and was the recipient of every 
favor in the power of the king and queen to bestow. He 
was, in fact, while at Ava, the acting king. I was resolved 
to apply to him for the release of the missionaries, though 
some members of Government advised me not, lest he, 
being reminded of their existence, should issue an immediate 
order for their execution. But it was my last hope, and, as 
it proved, my last application. 

" Your brother wrote a petition privately, stating every cir- 
cumstance that would have a tendency to interest him in our 
behalf. With fear and trembling I approached him, while 
surrounded by a crowd of flatterers ; and one of his secreta- 
ries took the petition, and read it aloud. After hearing it, he 
spoke to me in an obliging manner, asked several questions 
relative to the teachers, said he would think of the subject, 
and bade me come again. I ran to the prison to communi- 
cate the favorable reception to Mr. Judson ; and we both had 
sanguine hopes that his release was at hand. But the gov- 


ernor of the city expressed his amazement at my temerity, 
and said he doubted not it would be the means of destroying 
all the prisoners. In a day or two, however, I went again, 
and took a present of considerable value. Bandoolawas not 
at home, but his lady, after ordering the present to be taken 
into another room, modestly informed me that she was or- 
dered by her husband to make the following communication : 
that he was now very busily employed in making prepara- 
tions for Rangoon ; but that when he had retaken that place, 
and expelled the English, he would return and release all 
the prisoners. 

'•'■ Thus, again, were all our hopes dashed ; and we felt that 
we could do nothing more but sit down and submit to our 
lot. From this time we gave up all idea of being released 
from prison till the termination of the war ; but I was still 
obliged to visit constantly some of the members of Government 
with little presents, particularly the governor of the city, for 
the purpose of making the situation of the prisoners toler- 
able. I generally spent the greater part of every other day 
at the governor's house, giving him minute information rel- 
ative to American manners, customs, government, etc. He 
used to be so much gratified with my communications as to 
feel greatly disappointed if any occurrence prevented my 
spending the usual hours at his house. 

" Some months after your brother's imprisonment, I was 
permitted to make a little bamboo room in the prison en- 
closure, where he could be much by himself, and where I was 
sometimes allowed to spend two or three hours. It so hap- 
pened that the two months he occupied this place were the 
coldest of the year, when he would have suffered much in the 
open shed he had previously occupied. After the birth of 
your little niece,* I was unable to visit the prison and the 
governor as before, and found I had lost considerable influ- 
ence previously gained ; for he was not so forward to hear 
my petitions when any difficulty occurred as he formerly had 
been. When Maria was nearly two months old, her father 

Maria Elizabeth Butterworth Judson, who was born in Ava, January 26, 1825. 


one morning sent me word that he and all the white prison- 
ers were put into the inner prison, in five pairs of fetters 
each, that his little room had been torn down, and his mat, 
pillow, etc., been taken by the jailers. This was to me a 
dreadful shock, as I thought at once it was only a prelude to 
greater evils. 

" I should have mentioned before this the defeat of Ban- 
doola, his escape to Danooyboo, the complete destruction of 
his army and loss of ammunition, and the consternation this 
intelligence produced at court. The English army had left 
Rangoon, and were advancing toward Prome. when these 
severe measures were taken with the prisoners. 

"I went immediately to the governor's house. He was not 
at home, but had ordered his wife to tell me, when I came, 
not to ask to have the additional fetters taken off or the pris- 
oners released, for // could not be done. I went to the prison 
gate, but was forbidden to enter. All was as still as death — 
not a white face to be seen, or a vestige of Mr. Judson's little 
room remaining. I was determined to see the governor, and 
know the cause of this additional oppression, and for this 
purpose returned into town the same evening at an hour 
I knew he would be at home. He was in his audience-room, 
and, as I entered, looked up without speaking, but exhibited 
a mixture of shame and affected anger in his countenance. 
I began by saying, ' Your lordship has hitherto treated us 
with the kindness of a father. Our obligations to you are 
very great. We have looked to you for protection from 
oppression and cruelty. You have in many instances miti- 
gated the sufferings of those unfortunate though innocent 
beings committed to your charge. You have promised me 
particularly that you would stand by me to the last, and 
though you should receive an order from the king, you would 
not put Mr. Judson to death. What crime has he committed 
to deserve such additional punishment?' The old man's 
hard heart was melted, for he wept like a child. ' I pity you, 
Tsa-yah-ga-dau ' — a name by which he always called me ; ' I 
knew you would make me feel ; I therefore forbade your 
application. But you must believe me when I say I do not 



wish to increase the sufferings of the prisoners. When I am 
ordered to execute them, the least that I can do is to put 
them out of sight. I will now tell you,' continued he, * what 
1 have never told you before — that three times I have re- 
ceived intimations from the queen's brother to assassinate all 
the white prisoners privately ; but I would not do it. And I 
now repeat it, though I execute all the others, I will never 
execute your husband. But I can not release him from his 
present confinement, and you must not ask it.' I had never 
seen him manifest so much feeling, or so resolute in denying 
me a favor, which circumstance was an additional reason 
for thinking dreadful scenes were before us. 

" The situation of the prisoners was now distressing be- 
yond description. It was at the commencement of the hot 
season. There were above a hundred prisoners shut up in 
one room, without a breath of air excepting from the cracks 
in the boards. I sometimes obtained permission to go to the 
door for five minutes, when my heart sickened at the wretch- 
edness exhibited. The white prisoners, from incessant per- 
spiration and loss of appetite, looked more like the dead than 
the living. I made daily applications to the governor, offer- 
ing him money, which he refused ; but all that I gained was 
permission for the foreigners to eat their food outside, and 
this continued but a short time. 

" It was at this period that the death of Bandoola was an- 
nounced in the palace. The king heard it with silent amaze- 
ment, and the queen, in Eastern style, smote upon her breast, 
and cried, 'Ama! ama ! ' (alas! alas!) Who could be found 
to fill his place ? Who would venture, since the invincible 
Bandoola had been cut off ? Such were the exclamations 
constantly heard in the streets of Ava. The common people 
were speaking loiv of a rebellion, in case more troops should 
be levied. For as yet the common people had borne the 
weight of the war ; not a tical had been taken from the royal 
treasury. At length the pakan-woon, who a few months be- 
fore had been so far disgraced by the king as to be thrown into 
prison and irons, now offered himself to head a new army 
that should be raised on a different plan from those which 


had hitherto been raised, and assured the king, in the most 
confident manner, that he would conquer the English, and 
restore those places that had been taken in a very short time. 
He proposed that every soldier should receive a hundred 
ticals in advance, and he would obtain security for each man, 
as the money was to pass through his hands. It was after- 
ward found that he had taken, for his own use, ten ticals 
from every hundred. He was a man of enterprise and talents, 
though a violent enemy to all foreigners. His offers were 
accepted by the king and Government, and all power imme- 
diately committed to him. One of the first exercises of his 
power was to arrest Lanciego and the Portuguese priest, who 
had hitherto remained unmolested, and cast them into prison, 
and to subject the native Portuguese and Bengalees to the 
most menial occupations. The whole town was in alarm 
lest they should feel the effects of his power ; and it was 
owing to the malignant representations of this man, that the 
white prisoners suffered such a change in their circumstances 
as I shall soon relate. 

"After continuing in the inner prison for more than a 
month, your brother was taken with a fever. I felt assured 
he would not live long, unless removed from that noisome 
place. To effect this, and in order to be near the prison, I 
removed from our house, and put up a small bamboo room 
in the governor's enclosure, which was nearly opposite the 
prison gate. Here I incessantly begged the governor to give 
me an order to take Mr. Judson out of the large prison, and 
place him in a more comfortable situation ; and the old man, 
being worn out with my entreaties, at length gave me the 
order in an official form, and also gave orders to the head 
jailer to allow me to go in and out, all times of the day, to 
administer medicines, etc. I now felt happy indeed, and had 
Mr. Judson instantly removed into a little bamboo hovel, so 
low that neither of us could stand upright — but a palace in 
comparison with the place he had left. 

" Notwithstanding the order the governor had given for 
my admittance into prison, it was with the greatest difficulty 
that I could persuade the under-jailer to open the gate. 



used to carry Mr. Judson's food myself, for the sake of get- 
ting in, and would then remain an hour or two, unless driven 
out. We had been in this comfortable situation but two or 
three days, until, one morning, having carried in Mr. Judson's 
breakfast, which, in consequence of fever, he was unable to 
take, I remained longer than usual, when the governor, in 
great haste, sent for me. I promised to return as soon as I 
had ascertained the governor's will, he being much alarmed 
at this unusual message. I was very agreeably disappointed 
when the governor informed me that he only wished to con- 
sult me about his watch, and seemed unusually pleasant and 
conversable. I found afterward that his only object was to 
detain me until the dreadful scene about to take place in the 
prison was over. For when I left him to go to my room, one 
of the servants came running, and, with a ghastly counte- 
nance, informed me that all the white prisoners were carried 
away. I would not believe the report, and instantly went 
back to the governor, who said he had just heard of it, but 
did not wish to tell me. I hastily ran into the street, hoping 
to get a glimpse of them before they were out of sight, but 
in this was disappointed. I ran first into one street, then 
another, inquiring of all I met ; but no one would answer 
me. At length an old woman told me the white prisoners 
had gone toward the little river ; for they were to be carried 
to Amarapoora. I then ran to the banks of the little river, 
about half a mile, but saw them not, and concluded the old 
woman had deceived me. Some of the friends of the foreign- 
ers went to the place of execution, but found them not. I 
then returned to the governor, to try to discover the cause 
of their removal, and the probability of their future fate. 
The old man assured me that he was ignorant of the inten- 
tion of Government to remove the foreigners till that morn- 
ing ; that, since I went out, he had learned that the prisoners 
were to be sent to Amarapoora, but for what purpose he 
knew not. * I will send off a man immediately,' said he, ' to 
see what is to be done with them. You can do nothing more 
for your husband,' continued he ; ^ take care of yourself .' With 
a heavy heart I went to my room, and having no hope to ex- 


cite me to exertion, I sank down almost in despair. For 
several days previous, I had been actively engaged in build- 
ing my own little room, and making our hovel comfortable. 
My thoughts had been almost entirely occupied in contriving 
means to get into prison. But now I looked toward the gate 
with a kind of melancholy feeling, but no wish to enter. All 
was the stillness of death ; no preparation of your brother's 
food, no expectation of meeting him at the usual dinner 
hour ; all my employment, all my occupations, seem to have 
ceased, and I had nothing left but the dreadful recollection 
that Mr. Judson was carried off, I knew not whither. It was 
one of the most insupportable days I ever passed. Toward 
night, however, I came to the determination to set off the 
next morning for Amarapoora, and for this purpose was 
obliged to go to our house out of town. 

" Never before had I suffered so much from fear in travers- 
ing the streets of Ava. The last words of the governor, 
" Take care of yourself," made me suspect there was some 
design with which I was unacquainted. I saw, also, he was 
afraid to have me go into the streets, and advised me to wait 
till dark, when he would send me in a cart, and a man to 
open the gates. I took two or three trunks of the most valu- 
able articles, together with the medicine chest, to deposit in 
the house of the governor ; and after committing the house 
and premises to our faithful Moung Ing and a Bengalee serv- 
ant, who continued with us, though we were unable to pay 
his wages, I took leave, as I then thought probable, of our 
house in Ava forever. 

" On my return to the governor's, I found a servant of Mr. 
Gouger, who happened to be near the prison when the for- 
eigners were led out, and followed on to see the end, who 
informed me that the prisoners had been carried before the 
lamine-woon, at Amarapoora, and were to be sent the next 
day to a village he knew not how far distant. My distress 
was a little relieved by the intelligence that our friend was 
5'^et alive ; but still I knew not what was to become of 
him. The next morning I obtained a pass from Government, 
and with my little Maria, who was then only three months 


old, Mary and Abby Hasseltine, two of the Burman children, 
and our Bengalee cook, who was the only one of the party 
that could afford me any assistance, I set off for Amarapoora. 
The day was dreadfully hot ; but we obtained a covered 
boat, in which we were tolerably comfortable, till within two 
miles of the Government house. I then procured a cart ; 
but the violent motion, together with the dreadful heat and 
dust, made me almost distracted. But what was my disap- 
pointment, on my arriving at the court-house, to find that 
the prisoners had been sent on two hours before, and that I 
must go in that uncomfortable mode four miles farther with 
little Maria in my arms, whom I held all the way from Ava. 
The cartman refused to go any further ; and after waiting 
an hour in the burning sun, I procured another, and set off 
for that never-to-be-forgotten place, Oung-pen-la. I obtained 
a guide from the governor, and was conducted directly to 
the prison yard. But what a scene of wretchedness was pre- 
sented to my view ! The prison was an old, shattered build- 
ing, without a roof ; the fence was entirely destroyed ; eight 
or ten Burmese were on the top of the building, trying to 
make something like a shelter with leaves ; while under a 
little low projection outside of the prison sat the foreigners, 
chained together two and two, almost dead with suffering 
and fatigue. The first words of your brother were, 'Why 
have you come ? I hoped you would not follow, for you can 
not live here.' It was now dark. I had no refreshment for 
the suffering prisoners, or for myself, as I had expected to 
procure all that was necessary at the market of Amarapoora, 
and I had no shelter for the night. I asked one of the jailers 
if I might put up a little bamboo house near the prison ; he 
said, ' No ; it is not customary.' I then begged he would 
procure me a shelter for the night, when on the morrow I 
could find some place to live in. He took me to his house, 
in which there were only two small rooms — one in which he 
and his family lived ; the other, which was then half full of 
grain, he offered to me ; and in that little filthy place I spent 
the next six months of wretchedness. I procured some half- 
boiled v/ater, instead of my tea, and, worn out with fatigue, 


laid myself down on a mat spread over the paddy, and en- 
deavored to obtain a little refreshment from sleep. The 
next morning your brother gave me the following account 
of the brutal treatment he had received on being taken out 
of prison. 

" As soon as I had gone out at the call of the governor, 
one of the jailers rushed into Mr. Judson's little room, 
roughly seized him by the arm, pulled him out, stripped 
him of all his clothes excepting shirt and pantaloons, took 
his shoes, hat, and all his bedding, tore off his chains, tied a 
rope round his waist, and dragged him to the court-house, 
where the other prisoners had previously been taken. They 
were then tied two-and-two, and delivered into the hands of 
the lamine-woon, who went on before them on horseback, 
while his slaves drove the prisoners, one of the slaves hold- 
ing the rope which connected two of them together. It was in 
May, one of the hottest months in the year, and eleven o'clock 
in the day, so that the sun was intolerable indeed. They had 
proceeded only half a mile, when your brother's feet became 
blistered ; and so great was his agony, even at this early 
period, that as they were crossing the little river, he ardently 
longed to throw himself into the water to be free from misery. 
But the sin attached to such an act alone prevented. They 
had then eight miles to walk. The sand and gravel were 
like burning coals to the feet of the prisoners, which soon 
became perfectly destitute of skin ; and in this wretched 
state they were goaded on by their unfeeling drivers. Mr. 
Judson's debilitated state, in consequence of fever, and hav- 
ing taken no food that morning, rendered him less capable 
of bearing such hardships than the other prisoners. When 
about half-way on their journey, as they stopped for water, 
your brother begged the lamine-woon to allow him to ride 
his horse a mile or two, as he could proceed no farther in 
that dreadful state. But a scornful, malignant look was all 
the reply that was made. He then requested Captain Laird, 
who was tied with him, and who was a strong, healthy man, 
to allow him to take hold of his shoulder, as he was fast 
sinking. This the kind-hearted man granted for a mile or 



two, but then found the additional burden insupportable. 
Just at that period, Mr. Gouger's Bengalee servant came up 
to them, and, seeing the distresses of your brother, took off 
his headdress, which was made of cloth, tore it in two, gave 
half to his master, and half to Mr. Judson, which he instantly 
wrapped round his wounded feet, as they were not allowed 
to rest even for a moment. The servant then offered his 
shoulder to Mr. Judson, who was almost carried by him the 
remainder of the way. Had it not been for the support and 
assistance of this man, your brother thinks that he should 
have shared the fate of the poor Greek, who was one of their 
number, and, when taken out of prison that morning, was in 
perfect health. But he was a corpulent man, and the sun 
affected him so much that he fell down on the way. His in- 
human drivers beat and dragged him until they themselves 
were wearied, when they procured a cart, in which he was 
carried the remaining two miles. But the poor creature ex- 
pired in an hour or two after their arrival at the court-house. 
The lamine-woon, seeing the distressing state of the prison- 
ers, and that one of their number was dead, concluded they 
should go no farther that night ; otherwise they would have 
been driven on until they reached Oung-pen-la the same day. 
An old shed was appointed for their abode during the night, 
but without even a mat or pillow, or anything to cover them. 
The curiosity of the lamine-woon's wife induced her to make 
a visit to the prisoners, whose wretchedness considerably 
excited her compassion, and she ordered some fruit, sugar, 
and tamarinds for their refreshment ; and the next morning, 
rice was prepared for them and, poor as it was, it was re- 
freshing to the prisoners, who had been almost destitute of 
food the day before. Carts were also provided for their con- 
veyance, as none of them were able to walk. All this time, 
the foreigners were entirely ignorant of what was to become 
of them ; and when they arrived at Oung-pen-la, and saw 
the dilapidated state of the prison, they immediately, all as 
one, concluded that they were there to be burned, agreeably 
to the report which had previously been in circulation at 
Ava. They all endeavored to prepare themselves for the 


awful scene anticipated ; and it was not until they saw prep- 
arations making for repairing the prison, that they had the 
least doubt that a cruel, lingering death awaited them. My 
arrival was in an hour or two after this.* 

" The next morning I arose, and endeavored to find some- 
thing like food. But there was no market, and nothing to 
be procured. One of Dr. Price's friends, however, brought 
some cold rice and vegetable curry from Amarapoora, which, 
together with a cup of tea from Mr. Lanciego, answered for 
the breakfast of the prisoners ; and for dinner we made a 
curry of dried salt fish, which a servant of Mr. Gouger had 
brought. All the money I could command in the world I 
had brought with me, secreted about my person ; so you 
may judge what our prospects were, in case the war should 
continue long. But our heavenly Father was better to us 
than our fears ; for, notwithstanding the constant extortions 
of the jailers during the whole six months we were at Oung- 

* The miseries of the first night in the jail at Oung-pen-la are thus described by 
Mr. Gouger: "When it became dark we were motioned inside and submitted our 
feet to the stocks as expected. We had gone to hed (I can not restrain a smile while 
I write the word, the bare plank being our resting-place) with stomachs uncomforta- 
bly light, and with minds anything but placid. The jail-guard was stationed below 
us in a little apartment resembling a veranda, formed by a continuation of the roof, 
on a plan which the builders called a ' lean to.' As all became still we began to com- 
pose our thoughts as well as we could, in the hope of obtaining a little sleep, when, 
to our astonishment, we felt the stocks gradually and slowly moving upward, as if by 
magic, for there was no one in the room to put them in motion. At first we were so 
taken by surprise, that we did not know what to make o'f it. Was it going up to the 
roof ? Was it some new species of torture ? Its movement was majestically slow, 
and gave us a little time to think before it reached the height at which it rested, when 
a very short time discovered the trick. It was certainly very creditable to the ingenu- 
ity of the rogues, and was, no doubt, looked upon by them as a prodigy of mechanical 
contrivance — as I could hear them outside enjoying the fun. There was a kind of 
crank outside which had escaped our notice, so contrived as to raise or depress the 
stocks, at the will of the operator. When he had worked them to a sufficient height, 
he fixed them, and left us depending, in the fashion of a bamboo at the Let-ma-yoon. 
And now began, what I before hinted at, the attack of mosquitoes, which swarmed in 
from the stagnant water of the rice-field, settling unresisted on our bare feet. We 
could not reach to drive them off, and a rich repast they no doubt enjoyed on our 
flayed soles. At last it became insupportable and we lustily bawled out for pity from 
our guard below. I must do them the credit to believe they knew not the extent of 
the torture they were inflicting, as before midnight they mitigated it by lowering tha 
stocks, when we could hold the enemy at bay." 


pen-la, and the frequent straits to which we were brought, 
we never really suffered for the Want of money, though fre- 
quently for want of provisions, which were not procurable. 
Here at this place my personal bodily sufferings commenced. 
The very morning after my arrival, Mary Hasseltine was 
taken with the small-pox, the natural way. She, though very 
young, was the only assistant I had in taking care of little 
Maria. But she now required all the time I could spare from 
Mr. Judson, whose fever still continued, in prison, and whose 
feet were so dreadfully mangled that for several days he was 
unable to move. I knew not what to do, for I could procure 
no assistance from the neighborhood, or medicine for the 
sufferers, but was all day long going backward and forward 
from the house to the prison with little Maria in my arms. 

"You will recollect I never had the small-pox, but was 
vaccinated previously to leaving America. In consequence of 
being for so long a time constantly exposed, I had nearly a 
hundred pustules formed, though no previous symptoms of 
fever, etc. The jailer's children having had the small-pox so 
lightly, in consequence of inoculation, my fame was spread 
all over the village, and every child, young and old, who had 
not previously had it, was brought for inoculation. And 
although I knew nothing about the disorder, or the mode of 
treating it, I inoculated them all with a needle, and told them 
to take care of their diet — all the instructions I could give 
them. Mr. Judson's health was gradually restored, and he 
found himself much more comfortably situated than when in 
the city prison. 

" The prisoners were at first chained two and two ; but as 
soon as the jailers could obtain chains sufficient, they were 
separated, and each prisoner had but one pair. The prison 
was repaired, a new fence made, and a large, airy shed erected 
in front of the prison, where the prisoners were allowed to 
remain during the day, though locked up in the little close 
prison at night. All the children recovered from the small- 
pox ; but my watchings and fatigue, together with my 
miserable food, and more miserable lodgings, brought on 
one of the diseases of the country, which is almost always 


fatal to foreigners. My constitution seemed destroyed, and 
in a few days I became so weak as to be hardly able to walk 
to Mr. Judson's prison. In this debilitated state I set off in 
a cart for Ava, to procure medicines and some suitable food, 
leaving the cook to supply my place. I reached the house 
in safety, and for two or three days the disorder seemed at a 
stand ; after which it attacked me so violently that I had no 
hopes of recovery left ; and my only anxiety now was, to re- 
turn to Oung-pen-la, to die near the prison. It was with 
the greatest difficulty that I obtained the medicine chest 
from the governor, and then had no one to administer medi- 
cine. I, however, got at the laudanum, and by taking two 
drops at a time for several hours, it so far checked the dis- 
order as to enable me to get on board a boat, though so 
weak that I could not stand, and again set off for Oung-pen- 
la. The last four miles was in that painful conveyance, the 
cart, and in the midst of the rainy season, when the mud 
almost buries the oxen. You ma)^ form some idea of a Bur- 
mese cart, when I tell you their wheels are not constructed 
like ours, but are simply round thick planks with a hole in 
the middle, through which a pole, that supports the body, is 

" I just reached Oung-pen-la when my strength seemed en- 
tirely exhausted. The good native cook came out to help 
me into the house ; but so altered and emaciated was my ap- 
pearance, that the poor fellow burst into tears at the first 
sight. I crawled on to the mat in the little room, to which I 
was confined for more than two months, and never perfectly 
recovered until I came to the English camp. At this period, 
when I was unable to take care of myself, or look after Mr. 
Judson, we must both have died had it not been for the faith- 
ful and affectionate care of our Bengalee cook. A common 
Bengalee cook will do nothing but the simple business of 
cooking ; but he seemed to forget his caste, and almost his 
own wants, in his efforts to serve us. He would provide, 
cook, and carry your brother's food, and then return and take 
care of me. I have frequently known him not to taste of 
food till near night, in consequence of having to go so far for 


wood and water, and in order to have Mr. Judson's dinner 
ready at the usual hour. He never complained, never asked 
for his wages, and never for a moment hesitated to go any- 
where, or to perform any act we required. I take great 
pleasure in speaking of the faithful conduct of this servant, 
who is still with us, and I trust has been well rewarded for 
his services. 

" Our dear little Maria was the greatest sufferer at this 
time, my illness depriving her of her usual nourishment, and 
neither a nurse nor a drop of milk could be procured in the 
village. By making presents to the jailers, I obtained leave 
for Mr. Judson to come out of prison, and take the emaciated 
creature around the village, to beg a little nourishment from 
those mothers who had young children. Her cries in the 
night were heart-rending, when it was impossible to supply 
her wants. I now began to think the very afflictions of Job 
had come upon me. When in health, I could bear the various 
trials and vicissitudes through which I was called to pass. 
But to be confined with sickness, and unable to assist those 
who were so dear to me, when in distress, was almost too 
much for me to bear ; and had it not been for the consola- 
tions of religion, and an assured conviction that every ad- 
ditional trial was ordered by infinite love and mercy, I must 
have sunk under my accumulated sufferings. Sometimes our 
jailers seemed a little softened at our distress, and, for several 
days together, allowed Mr. Judson to come to the house, 
which was to me an unspeakable consolation. Then, again, 
they would be as iron-hearted in their demands as though 
we were free from sufferings, and in affluent circumstances. 
The annoyance, the extortions, and oppressions to which we 
were subject during our six months' residence in Oung-pen 
la, are beyond enumeration or description. 

"It was some time after our arrival at Oung-pen-la that 
we heard of the execution of the pakan-woon, in consequence 
of which our lives were still preserved. For we afterward 
ascertained that the white foreigners had been sent to Oung- 
pen-la for the express purpose of sacrificing them ; and that 
he himself intended witnessing the horrid scene. We had 

254 ^^^^ ^^P^ OF ADONIRAM JUDSON. 

frecjuently heard of his intended arrival at Oung-pen-la, hwX. 
we had no idea of his diabolical purposes. He had raised an 
army of fifty thousand men (a tenth part of whose advance 
pay was found in his house), and expected to march against 
the English army in a short time, when he was suspected of 
high treason, and instantly executed, without the least ex- 
amination. Perhaps no death in Ava ever produced such 
universal rejoicings as that of the pakan-woon. We never, 
to this day, hear his name mentioned but with an epithet of 
reproach or hatred. Another brother of the king was ap- 
pointed to the command of the army now in readiness, but 
with no very sanguine expectations of success. Some weeks 
after the departure of these troops, two of the woon-gyees 
were sent down for the purpose of negotiating. But not 
being successful, the queen's brother, the acting king of the 
country, was prevailed on to go. Great expectations were 
raised in consequence ; but his cowardice induced him to 
encamp his detachment of the army at a great distance from 
the English, and even at a distance from the main body of 
the Burmese army, whose headquarters were then at Maloun. 
Thus he effected nothing, though reports were continually 
reaching us that peace was nearly concluded. 

" The time at length arrived for our release from the dreary 
scenes of Oung-pen-la. A messenger from our friend, the 
governor of the north gate of the palace, informed us that an 
order had been given, the evening before, in the palace, for 
Mr. Judson's release. On the same evening an official order 
arrived ; and, with a joyful heart, I set about preparing for 
our departure early the following morning. But an unex- 
pected obstacle occurred, which made us fear that / should 
still be retained as a prisoner. The avaricious jailers, un- 
willing to lose their prey, insisted that, as my name was not 
included in the order, I should not go. In vain I urged that 
I was not sent there as a prisoner, and that they had no 
authority over me ; they still determined I should not 
go, and forbade the villagers from letting me a cart. Mr, 
Judson was then taken out of prison and brought to the 
jailers' house, where, by promises and threatenings, he finally 



gained their consent, on condition that we would leave the 
remaining part of our provisions we had recently received 
from Ava. It was noon before we were allowed to depart. 
When we reached Amarapoora, Mr. Judson was obliged to 
follow the guidance of the jailer, who conducted him to the 
governor of the city. Having made all necessary inquiries, 
the governor appointed another guard, which conveyed Mr. 
Judson to the court-house in Ava, at which place he arrived 
some time in the night. I took my own course, procured a 
boat, and reached our house before dark. 

" My first object, the next morning, was to go in search of 
your brother ; and I had the mortification to meet him again 
in prison, though not the death-prison. I went immediately 
to my old friend the governor of the city, who now was raised 
to the rank of a woon-gyee. He informed me that Mr. Jud- 
son was to be sent to the Burmese camp, to act as translator 
and interpreter ; and that he was put in confinement for a 
short time only till his affairs were settled. Early the fol- 
lowing morning I went to this officer again, who told me that 
Mr. Judson had that moment received twenty ticals from 
Government, with orders to go immediately on board a boat 
for Maloun, and that he had given him permission to stop a 
few moments at the house, it being on his way. I hastened 
back to the house, where Mr. Judson soon arrived, but was 
allowed to remain only a short time, while I could prepare 
food and clothing for future use. He was crowded into a 
little boat, where he had not room sufficient to lie down, and 
where his exposure to the cold, damp nights threw him into 
a violent fever which had nearly ended all his sufferings. 
He arrived at Maloun on the third day, where, ill as he was, 
he was obliged to enter immediately on the work of trans- 
lating. He remained at Maloun six weeks, suffering as much 
as he had at any time in prison, excepting he was not in 
irons, nor exposed to the insults of those cruel jailers. 

" For the first fortnight after his departure, my anxiety 
was less than it had been at any time previously since the 
commencement of our difficulties. I knew the Burmese 
officers at the camp would feel the value of Mr. Judson's 


services too much to allow their using any measures threat- 
ening his life. I thought his situation, also, would be much 
more comfortable than it really was ; hence my anxiety was 
less. But my health, which had never been restored since 
that violent attack at Oung-pen-la, now daily declined, till I 
was seized with the spotted fever, with all its attendant hor- 
rors. I knew the nature of the fever from its commence- 
ment ; and from the shattered state of my constitution, to- 
gether with the want of medical attendants, I concluded it 
must be fatal. The day I was taken with the fever, a Bur- 
mese nurse came and offered her services for Maria. This 
circumstance filled me with gratitude and confidence in God ; 
for, though I had so long and so constantly made efforts to 
obtain a person of this description, I had never been able ; 
when at the very time I most needed one, and without any 
exertion, a voluntary offer was made. My fever raged vio- 
lently, and without any intermission. I began to think of 
settling my worldly affairs, and of committing my dear little 
Maria to the care of a Portuguese woman, when I lost my 
reason, and was insensible to all around me. At this dread- 
ful period. Dr. Price was released from prison, and hearing 
of my illness, obtained permission to come and see me. He 
has since told me that my situation was the most distressing 
he had ever witnessed, and that he did not then think I 
should survive many hours. My hair was shaved, my head 
and feet covered with blisters, and Dr. Price ordered the 
Bengalee servant who took care of me to endeavor to per- 
suade me to take a little nourishment, which I had obsti- 
nately refused for several days. One of the first things I 
recollect was seeing this faithful servant standing by me, 
trying to induce me to take a little wine and water. I was, 
in fact, so far gone that the Burmese neighbors, who had 
come in to see me expire, said, ' She is dead ; and if the King 
of Angels should come in. He could not recover her." 

"The fever, I afterward understood, had run seventeen 
days when the blisters were applied. I now began to re- 
cover slowly, but it was more than a month after this before 
I had strength to stand. While in this weak, debilitated 


State, the servant who had followed your brother to the Bur- 
mese camp came in, and informed me that his mastei had 
arrived, and was conducted to the court-house in town. I 
sent off a Burman to watch the movements of Government, 
and to ascertain, if possible, in what way Mr. Judson was to 
be disposed of. He soon returned with the sad intelligence 
that he saw Mr. Judson go out of the palace-yard accom- 
panied by two or three Burmans, who conducted him to one 
of the prisons, and that it was reported in town that he was 
to be sent back to the Oung-pen-la prison. I was too weak 
to bear ill tidings of any kind ; but a shock so dreadful as 
this almost annihilated me. For some time I could hardly 
breathe, but at last gained sufficient composure to dispatch 
Moung Ing to our friend the governor of the north gate, 
and begged him to make one ttiore effort for the release of 
Mr. Judson, and prevent his being sent back to the country 
prison, where I knew he must suffer much, as I could not 
follow. Moung Ing then went in search of Mr. Judson ; and 
it was nearly dark when he found him, in the interior of an 
obscure prison. I had sent food early in the afternoon ; but 
being unable to find him, the bearer had returned with it, 
which added another pang to my distresses, as I feared he 
was already sent to Oung-pen-la. 

■' If ever I felt the value and efficacy of prayer, I did at 
this time. I could not rise from my couch ; I could make 
no efforts to secure my husband ; I could only plead with 
that great and powerful Being who has said, ' Call upon me 
in the day of trouble, and / will hear, and thou shalt glorify 
me,' and who made me at this time feel so powerfully this 
promise that I became quite composed, feeling assured that 
my prayers would be answered. 

"When Mr. Judson was sent from Maloun to Ava, it was 
within five minutes' notice, and without his knowledge of 
the cause. On his way up the river, he accidentally saw the 
communication made to Government respecting him, which 
was simply this : ' We have no further use for Yoodthan ; we 
therefore return him to the golden city.' On arriving at the 
court-house, there happened to be no one present who was 



acquainted with Mr. Judson. The presiding officer inquired 
from what place he had been sent to Maloun. He was an- 
swered, from Oung-pen-la. ' Let him, then,' said the officer, 
'be returned thither'; when he was delivered to a guard 
and conducted to the place above mentioned, there to remain 
until he could be conveyed to Oung-pen-la. In the mean- 
time, the governor of the north gate presented a petition to 
the high court of the empire, offered himself as Mr. Jud- 
son's security, obtained his release, and took him to his 
house, where he treated him with considerable kindness, and 
to which I was removed as soon as returning health would 

" The advance of the English army toward the capital at 
this time threw the whole town into the greatest state of 
alarm, and convinced the Government that some speedy 
measures must be taken to save the golden city. They had 
hitherto rejected all the overtures of Sir Archibald Campbell, 
imagining, until this late period, that they could in some way 
or other drive the English from the country. Mr. Judson 
and Dr. Price were daily called to the palace and consulted ; 
in fact, nothing was done without their approbation. Two 
English officers, also, who had lately been brought to Ava as 
prisoners, were continually consulted, and their good offices 
requested in endeavoring to persuade the British general to 
make peace on easier terms. It was finally concluded that 
Mr. Judson and one of the officers above mentioned should 
be sent immediately to the English camp in order to nego- 
tiate. The danger attached to a situation so responsible, 
under a Government so fickle as the Burmese, induced your 
brother to use every means possible to prevent his being 
sent. Dr. Price was not only willing, but desirous of go- 
ing ; this circumstance Mr. Judson represented to the mem- 
bers of Government, and begged he might not be compelled 
to go, as Dr. Price could transact the business equally as 
well as himself. After some hesitation and deliberation Dr. 
Price was appointed to accompany Dr. Sandford, one of the 
English officers, on condition that Mr. Judson would stand 
security for his return, while the other English officer, then 


in irons, should be security for Dr. Sandford. The king 
gave them a hundred ticals each to bear their expenses 
(twenty-five of which Dr. Sandford generously sent to Mr. 
Gouger, still a prisoner at Oung-pen-la), boats, men, and a 
Burmese officer to accompany them, though he ventured no 
farther than the Burman camp. With the most anxious so- 
licitude the court waited the arrival of the messengers, but 
did not in the least relax in their exertions to fortify the 
city. Men and beasts were at work night and day, making 
new stockades and strengthening old ones, and whatever 
buildings were in their way were immediately torn down. 
Our house, with all that surrounded it, was levelled to the 
ground, and our beautiful little compound turned into a 
road and a place for the erection of cannon. All articles of 
value were conveyed out of town and safely deposited in 
some other place. 

"At length the boat in which the ambassadors had been 
sent was seen approaching, a day earlier than was expected. 
As it advanced toward the city, the banks were lined by 
thousands, anxiously inquiring their success. But no answer 
was given ; the Government must first hear the news. The 
palace gates were crowded, the officers at the lut-d'hau were 
seated, when Dr. Price made the following communication : 
* The general and commissioners will make no alteration in 
their terms, except the hundred lacks [a lack is a hundred 
thousand] of rupees may be paid at four different times ; the 
first twenty-five lacks to be paid within twelve days, or the 
army will continue their march.' In addition to this, the 
prisoners were to be given up immediately. The general had 
commissioned Dr. Price to demand Mr. Judson, and myself, 
and little Maria. This was communicated to the king, who 
replied : ' They are not English ; they are my people, and 
shall not go.' At this time I had no idea that we should ever 
be released from Ava. The Government had learned the 
value of your brother's services, having employed him the 
last three months ; and we both concluded they would never 
consent to our departure. The foreigners were again called 
to a consultation, to see what could be done. Dr. Price and 


Mr. Judson told them plainly that the English would never 
make peace on any other terms than those offered, and that 
it was in vain to go down again without the money. It was 
then proposed that a third part of the first sum demanded 
should be sent down immediatel}'. Mr. Judson objected, and 
still said it would be useless. Some of the members of 
Government then intimated that it was probable the teachers 
were on the side of the English, and did not try to make 
them take a smaller sum ; and also threatened, if they did 
not make the English comply, they and their families should 

" In this interval, the fears of the Government were con- 
siderably allayed by the offers of a general, by name Layar- 
thoo-yah, who desired to make one more attempt to conquer 
the English, and disperse them. He assured the king and 
Government that he could so fortify the ancient city of Pu- 
gan as to make it impregnable, and that he would there 
defeat and destroy the English. His offers were heard ; he 
marched to Pugan with a very considerable force, and made 
strong the fortifications. But the English took the city with 
perfect ease, and dispersed the Burmese army ; while the 
general fled to Ava, and had the presumpt.on to appear in 
the presence of the king and demand new troops. The king, 
being enraged that he had ever listened to him for a moment, 
in consequence of which the negotiation had been delayed, 
the English general provoked, and the troops daily advancing, 
ordered the general to be immediately executed. The poor 
fellow was soon hurled from the palace, and beat all the way 
to the court-house, when he was stripped of his rich apparel, 
bound with cords, and made to kneel and bow toward 
the palace. He was then delivered into the hands of the 
executioners, who, by their cruel treatment, put an end to his 
existence before they reached the place of execution. 

" The king caused it to be reported that this general was 
executed in consequence of disobeying his commands '■ not to 
fight the English.' 

" Dr. Price was sent off the same night, with part of the 
prisoners, and with instructions to persuade the general to 


take six lacks instead of twenty-five. He returned in two or 
three days, with the appalling intelligence that the English 
general was very angry, refused to have any communication 
with him, and was now within a few days' march of the 
capital. The queen was greatly alarmed, and said the money 
should be raised immediately, if the English Avould only stop 
their march. The Avhole palace was in motion ; gold and 
silver vessels were melted up ; the king and queen superin- 
tended the weighing of a part of it, and were determined, if 
possible, to save their city. The silver was ready in the boats 
by the next evening ; but they had so little confidence in the 
English, that, after all their alarm, they concluded to send 
down six lacks only, with the assurance that, if the English 
would stop where they then were, the remainder should be 
forthcoming immediately. 

"The Government now did not even ask Mr. Judson the 
question whether he would go or not ; but some of the officers 
took him by the arm, as he was walking in the street, and 
told him he must go immediately on board the boat, to ac- 
company two Burmese officers, a woon-gyee and woon-douk, 
who were going down to make peace. Most of the English 
prisoners were sent at the same time. The general and com- 
missioners would not receive the six lacks, neither would they 
stop their march ; but promised, if the sum complete reached 
them before they should arrive at Ava, they would make 
peace. The general also commissioned Mr. Judson to collect 
the remaining foreigners, of whatever country, and ask the 
question, before the Burmese Government, whether they 
wished to go or stay. Those who expressed a wish to go 
should be delivered up immediately, or peace would not be 

" Mr. Judson reached Ava at midnight, had all the foreigners 
called the next morning, and the question asked. Some of 
the members of Government said to him, 'You will not leave 
us ; you shall become a great man if you will remain.' He 
then secured himself from the odium of saying that he 
wished to leave the service of his majesty, by recurring to 
the order of Sir Archibald, that whoever wished to leave Ava 


should be given up, and that I had expressed a wish to go, 
so that he of course must follow. The remaining part of the 
twenty-five lacks was soon collected ; the prisoners at Oung- 
pen-la were all released, and either sent to their houses, or 
down the river to the English ; and in two days from the 
time of Mr. Judson's return, we took an affectionate leave of 
the good-natured officer who had so long entertained us at 
his house, and who now accompanied us to the water-side, 
and we then left forever the banks of Ava. 

" It was on a cool, moonlight evening, in the month of 
March, that with hearts filled with gratitude to God, and 
overflowing with joy at our prospects, we passed down the 
Irrawaddy, surrounded by six or eight golden boats, and ac- 
companied by all we had on earth. The thought that we 
had still to pass the Burman camp would sometimes occur 
to damp our joy, for we feared that some obstacle might 
there arise to retard our progress. Nor were we mistaken 
in our conjectures. We reached the camp about midnight, 
where we were detained two hours ; the woon-gyee and high 
officers insisting that we should wait at the camp, while Dr. 
Price, who did not return to Ava with your brother, but re- 
mained at the camp, should go on with the money, and first 
ascertain whether peace would be made. The Burmese 
Government still entertained the idea that, as soon as the 
English had received the money and prisoners, they would 
continue their march, and yet destroy the capital. We knew 
not but that some circumstance might occur to break off the 
negotiations. Mr. Judson therefore strenuously insisted 
that he would not remain, but go on immediately. The 
officers were finally prevailed on to consent, hoping much 
from Mr. Judson's assistance in making peace. 

"We now, for the first time for more than a year and a half, 
felt that we were free, and no longer subject to the oppressive 
yoke of the Burmese. And with what sensations of delight, 
on the next morning, did I behold the masts of the steam- 
boat, the sure presage of being within the bounds of civilized 
life ! As soon as our boat reached the shore. Brigadier A. 
and another officer came on board, congratulated us on oui 


arrival, and invited us on board the steamboat, where I 
passed the remainder of the day ; while your brother went 
on to meet the general, who, with a detachment of the army, 
had encamped at Yandabo, a few miles farther down the 
river. Mr. Judson returned in the evening, with an invitation 
from Sir Archibald to come immediately to his quarters, 
where I was the next morning introduced, and received with 
the greatest kindness by the general, who had a tent pitched 
for us near his own, took us to his own table, and treated us 
with the kindness of a father, rather than as strangers of 
another country. 

*' We feel that our obligations to General Campbell can 
never be cancelled. Our final release from Ava, and our 
recovering all the property that had there been taken, was 
owing entirely to his efforts. His subsequent hospitality, 
and kind attention to the accommodations for our passage 
to Rangoon, have left an impression on our minds which can 
never be effaced. We daily received the congratulation of 
the British officers, whose conduct toward us formed a 
striking contrast to that of the Burmese. I presume to saj' 
that no persons on earth were ever happier than we were 
during the fortnight we passed at the English camp. For 
several days this single idea wholly occupied my mind — that 
we were out of the power of the Burmese Government, and 
once more under the protection of the English. Our feelings 
continually dictated expressions like this : What shall 7ve 
render to the Lord for all His benefits toward us ? 

" The treaty of peace was soon concluded, signed by both 
parties, and a termination of hostilities publicly declared. 
We left Yandabo after a fortnight's residence, and safely 
reached the mission-house in Rangoon after an absence of 
two years and three months. 

" A review of our trip to and adventures in Ava often ex- 
cites the inquiry. Why were we permitted to go ? What 
good has been effected ? Why did I not listen to the advice 
of friends in Bengal, and remain there till the war was con- 
cluded ? But all that we can say is, // is not in man thai 
walktth tc direct his steps. So far as my going round to Ran- 


^oon, at the time I did, was instrumental in bringing those 
heavy afflictions npon us, I can only state that, if I ever acted 
from a sense of duty in my life, it was at that time ; for my 
conscience would not allow me any peace when I thought of 
sending for your brother to come to Calcutta, in prospect of 
the approaching war. Our society at home have lost no 
property in consequence of our difficulties ; but two years of 
precious time have been lost to the mission, unless some 
future advantage may be gained in consequence of the severe 
discipline to which we ourselves have been subject. We are 
sometimes induced to think that the lesson we found so very 
hard to learn will have a beneficial effect through our lives, 
and that the mission may, in the end, be advanced rather 
than retarded. 

'' We should have had no hesitation about remaining in 
Ava if no part of the Burmese empire had been ceded to the 
British. But as it was, we felt it would be an unnecessary ex- 
posure, besides the missionary field being much more limited 
in consequence of intoleration. We now consider our future 
missionary prospects as bright indeed ; and our only anxiety 
is to be once more in that situation where our time will be 
exclusively devoted to the instruction of the heathen. 

' From the date at the commencement of this long letter 
you see, my dear brother, that my patience has continued for 
two months. I have frequently been induced to throw it 
aside altogether; but feeling assured that you and my other 
friends are expecting something of this kind, I am induced 
to send it, with all its imperfections. This letter, dreadful 
as are the scenes herein described, gives you but a faint idea 
of the awful reality. The anguish, the agony of mind, result- 
ing from a thousand little circumstances impossible to be 
delineated on paper, can be known by those only who have 
been in similar situations. Pray for us, my dear brother and 
sister, that these heavy afflictions may not be in vain, but 
may be blessed to our spiritual good and the advancement 
of Christ's cause among the heathen." 

Should the reader desire still further to explore the secrets 


of Mr. Judson's prison-house, he is referred to the book en- 
titled " Personal Narrative of Two Years' Imprisonment in 
Burmah," by Henry Gouger. • Mr. G. views the subject, not 
from the stand-point of a missionary, nor of a minister, nor 
of an American, but from that of an enterprising English 
merchant, so that we are indebted to him for a strong cross- 
light shed upon Mr. Judson's experiences. The reader's 
attention is also directed to a sketch called " The Kathayan 
Slave," from the pen of Mrs. E. C. Judson.* " I wrote," 
says Mrs. J., " under my husband's eye, and he read and 
approved it, so that it is perfectly reliable." 

Further information concerning the imprisonment at Ava 
and Oung-pen-la is afforded by the reminiscences which 
were gathered by Mrs. E. C. Judson from conversations with 
Mr. Judson . 

" During the first seven months of Mr. Judson's imprison- 
ment, there was but little change. The white men air wore 
three pairs of fetters ; but they were suffered to walk about 
the prison-yard, as well as they could with their ankles only 
a few inches apart, and always followed by keepers. They 
were from time to time subjected to almost innumerable an- 
noyances, vexations, and extortions ; and they were obliged 
to be the witnesses of wanton cruelties which they could not 
prevent, and of intense sufferings which they could not allevi- 
ate. For the most of the time, through Mrs. Judson's con- 
tinual exertions, and by help of occasional presents, they 
were allowed to spend the day in the open shed in the yard, 
and Mrs. Judson was even permitted to build a little bamboo 
shelter for her husband, where he could be, some portion of 
the time, by himself. Mr. Judsoii was exceedingly nice m 
his personal habits, nice even to a fault ; and this herding 
together, even if he had been permitted to choose his associ- 
ates, would have been exceedingly unpleasant to him. They 
were not all, belonging as they did to five different nations, 
educated in his notions of cleanliness, and even he was often 

* See Appendix E. 


from necessity, offensive to himself. Sometimes he was 
denied the use of water, and sometimes the admission of 
clothing was forbidden ; and the act of dressing, with the 
ankles made fast by fetters, proved to be no simple art. 
With all his efforts, and the care taken by his wife of his 
wardrobe, he was sometimes in a very forlorn state. His 
food was such as Mrs. Judson could provide. Sometimes it 
came regularly, and sometimes they went very hungry. 
Sometimes, for weeks together, they had no food but rice, 
savored with ngapee — a certain preparation of fish, not 
always palatable to foreigners. But once, when a term of 
unusual quiet gave her time for the softer and more homely 
class of loving thoughts, Mrs. Judson made a great effort to 
surprise her husband with something that should remind 
him of home. She planned and labored, until, by the aid of 
buffalo beef and plantains, she actually concocted a mince 
pie. Unfortunately, as she thought, she could not go in 
person to the prison that day ; and the dinner was brought 
by smiling Moung Ing, who seemed aware that some m3^stery 
must be wrapped up in that peculiar preparation of meat 
and fruit, though he had never seen the well-spread boards 
of Plymouth and Bradford. But the pretty little artifice 
only added another pang to a heart whose susceptibilities 
were as quick and deep as, in the sight of the world, they 
were silent. When his wife had visited him in prison, and 
borne taunts and insults with and for him, they could be 
brave together ; when she had stood up like an enchantress, 
winning the hearts of high and low, making savage jailers, 
and scarcely less savage nobles, weep ; or moved, protected 
by her own dignity and sublimity of purpose, like a queen 
along the streets, his heart had throbbed with proud admira- 
tion ; and he was almost able to thank God for the trials 
which had made a character so intrinsically noble shine forth 
with such peculiar brightness. But in this simple, homelike 
act, this little unpretending effusion of a loving heart, there 
was something so touching, so unlike the part she had just 
been acting, and yet so illustrative of what she really was, 
that he bowed his head upon his knees, and the tears flowed 


down to the chains about his ankles. What a happy man he 
might have been had this heavy woe been spared them ! And 
what was coming next ? Finally the scene changed, and there 
came over him a vision of the past. He saw again the home 
of his boyhood. His stern, strangely revered father, his 
gentle mother, his rosy, curly-haired sister, and pale young 
brother were gathered for the noonday meal, and he was 
once more among them. And so his fancy revelled there. 
Finally he lifted his head. O, the misery that surrounded 
him ! He moved his feet, and the rattling of the heavy 
chains was as a death-knell. He thrust the carefully pre- 
pared dinner into the hand of his associate, and as fast as 
his fetters would permit, hurried to his own little shed. 

" Mr. Judson was not naturally of an even temperament. 
Hopeful and earnest he was, beyond most men, and withal 
very persevering ; but at this period of his life, and up to a 
much later time, he was subject to a desponding reaction, 
from which his faith in God, the ruling principle of his later 
years, was not now sufficiently ripe to set him entirely free. 
His peculiar mental conformation was eminently active ; so 
that the passive suffering of his prison discipline was more 
galling than to a mind differently constituted. So long as 
he could contend with difficulties, he was appalled by 
nothing ; but whatever he might have been in after-life, he 
was at this time better fitted to do than to endure. For some 
time previous to the birth of poor little Maria, he had been 
filled with the gloomiest forebodings ; and not without 
cause. His wife, from the peculiar customs of this land of 
semi-civilization, was more alone than she would have been 
among the wild Indian women of an American forest ; and 
he could do nothing for her. When the dreaded crisis was 
past, and a pale, puny infant of twenty days was brought to 
his prison, no person not thoroughly conversant with the 
secret springs of feeling which made his the richest heart 
that ever beat in human bosom, would be at all able to ap- 
preciate the scene. His first child slept beneath the waters 
of the Bay of Bengal, a victim to Anglo-Indian persecution, 
a baby-martyr, without the martyr's conflict ; the second, 


his 'meek, blue-eyed Roger,' had his bed in the jungle grave- 
yard at Rangoon ; and here came the third little wan stranger, 
to claim the first parental kiss from the midst of felon chains. 

" Mrs. Judson had long previous to this adopted the Bur- 
mese style of dress. Her rich Spanish complexion could 
never be mistaken for the tawny hue of the native ; and her 
figure, of full medium height, appeared much taller and more 
commanding in a costume usually worn by women of inferior 
size. But her friend, the governor's wife, who presented her 
wdth the dress, had recommended the measure as a concession 
which would be sure to conciliate the people, and win them 
to a kindlier treatment of her. Behold her, then — her dark 
curls carefully straightened, drawn back from her forehead, 
and a fragrant cocoa-blossom, drooping like a white plume 
from the knot upon the crown ; her saffron vest thrown open 
to display the folds of crimson beneath ; and a rich silken 
skirt, wrapped closely about her fine figure, parting at the 
ankle, and sloping back upon the floor. The clothing of the 
feet was not Burman, for the native sandal could not be worn 
except upon a bare foot. Behold her standing in the door- 
way (for she was never permitted to enter the prison), her 
little blue-eyed blossom wailing, as it almost always did, 
upon her bosom, and the chained father crawling forth to 
the meeting ! 

" The following verses, of which the writer says, ' They 
were composed in my mind at the time, and afterward writ- 
ten down,' commemorate this meeting : 

Lines addressed to an Jn/ant Daughter, twenty days old, in the condemned 
Prison at Ava. 

" ' Sleep, darling infant, sleep, 

Hushed on thy mother's breast ; 
Let no rude sound of clanking chains 
Disturb thy balmy rest. 

" ' Sleep, darling infant, sleep ; 

Blest that thou canst not know 
The pangs that rend thy parents' hearts. 
The keenness of their woe. 

m ' {?oi. 24'''JS2a 


" ' Sleep, darling infant, sleep ; 

May Heaven its blessings shed, 
In rich profusion, soft and sweet, 
On thine unconscious head ! 

" ' Why ope thy little eyes ? 

What would my darling see ? 
Thy sorrowing mother's bending form? 
Thy father's agony ? 

" ' Wouldst view this drear abode, 

Where fettered felons lie. 

And wonder that thy father here 

Should as a felon sigh ? 

" ' Wouldst mark the dreadful sights, 
Which stoutest hearts appal— 
The stocks, the cord, the fatal sword, 
The torturing iron mall ? 

" ' No, darling infant, no ! 

Thou seest them not at all ; 

Thou only mark'st the rays of light 

Which flicker on the wall. 

" ' Thine untaught infant eye 
Can nothing clearly see ; 
Sweet scenes of home and prison scenes 
Are all alike to thee. 

" ' Stretch, then, thy little arms, 
And roll thy vacant eye, 
Reposing on thy mother's breast 
In soft security. 

" ' Why ope thy paly lips ? 

What would my darling say ? 
" My dear papa, why leave us thus? 
Why thus in prison stay ? 

" ' " For poor mamma and I 

All lonely live at home, 
And every day we watch and wait. 
And wish papa would come ? " 

* No ; all alike to thee 

Thy mother's grief or mirth ; 


Nor know'st thou one of all the ills 
Which mark thy mournful birth. 

" ' Thy lips one art alone. 

One loving, simple grace, 
By nature's instinct have been taught ; 
Seek, then, thy nestling-place ! 

" ' Spread out thy little hand ; 

Thy mother's bosom press, 
And thus return, in grateful guise. 
Her more sincere caress. 

•' ' Go, darling infant, go ; 

Thine hour has passed away ; 
The jailer's harsh, discordant voice 
Forbids thy longer stay. 

" ' God grant that we may meet 
In happier times than this, 
And with thine angel mother dear 
Enjoy domestic bliss. - 

" ' But should the fearful clouds. 

Which Burmah's sky o'erspread. 
Conduct the threatened vengeance down 
On thy poor father's head — 

" ' Where couldst thou shelter find ? 

Oh, whither wouldst thou stray ? 
What hand would guide my darling's steps 
Along their dangerous way ? 

" ' There is a God on high, 

The glorious King of kings ; 
'Tis He to whom thy mother prays, 
Whose love she sits and sings. 

" 'That glorious God, so kind, 
Has sent His Son to save 
Our ruined race from sin and death, 
And raise them from the grave. 

" ' And to that gracious God 
My darling I commend ; 
Be Thou the helpless orphan's stay, 
Her Father and her Friend. 


" ' Inspire her infant heart 

The Saviour's love to know, 
And guide her through this dreary world, 
This wilderness of woe. 

" 'Thou sleep'st again, my Iamb, 

Nor heed'st nor song nor prayer: 
Go, sleeping in thy mother's arms. 
Safe in a mother's care. 

" 'And when, in future years. 

Thou know'st thy father's tongue, 
These lines will show thee how he felt. 
How o'er his babe he sung. 
To Maria Eliza Butterworth Judson, born at Ava, January 26, 1825.' " 

The following versification of the Lord's Prayer was com- 
posed a few weeks later. It illustrates the nature of the 
subjects which occupied the thoughts of the missionary 
during this long-protracted agony. It is comprised in fewer 
words than the original Greek, and contains only two more 
than the common translation : 

" Our Father God, who art in heaven, 
All hallowed be Thy name ; 
Thy kingdom come ; Thy will be done 
In earth and heaven the same. 

" Give us, this day, our daily bread ; 
And, as we those forgive 
Who sin against us, so may we 
Forgiving grace receive. 

" Into temptation lead us not ; 
From evil set us free ; 
The kingdom, power, and glory. Lord, 
Ever belong to Thee. 
" Prison, Ava, March, 1825." 

" The foreigners had spent about seven months in prison, 
when suddenly a change came. One day a band of men 
rushed into the prison-yard, and while some seized the white 
prisoners, and added two more pairs of fetters to the three 
they already wore, others began tearing down Mrs. Judson's 


little bamboo room, snatching up pillows and mattresses, and 
whatever other articles came within their reach. At last the 
prisoners, after having half the clothing torn from their per- 
sons, were thrust into the common prison, and, with a bam- 
boo between their legs, again stretched upon the bare floor. 
Here were more than a hundred miserable wretches, shut 
from every breath of air except such as could find its way 
between the crevices in the boards, groaning with various 
tortures, and rattling their chains, as they groped in the gray 
light, and writhed and twisted themselves, as much as .was in 
their power, from side to side, in the vain endeavor to obtain 
some ease by change of position. It was the commencement 
of the hot season, and the heat was not lessened by the fevered 
breaths of that crowd of sufferers, nor the close air purified 
by the exhalations which arose from their bodies. Night 
came, but brought with it no rest. A whisper had passed 
around the prison, whether through malice or accident, that 
the foreigners would be led out to execution at three in the 
morning ; and the effect on the little band was not so much 
in accordance with natural temperament as the transforming 
principle of faith. Bold men were cowards, and weak men 
grew strong. At first Mr. Judson felt a pang of regret that 
he was to go at last without saying farewell to his unsuspect- 
ing wife and child. But gradually the feeling changed, and 
he would not have had it different if he could. She had left 
him in comparative comfort that day ; she would come the 
next, and find him beyond her care. It would be a terrible 
shock at first ; but she would be spared much anxious suffer- 
ing, and he could almost fancy that she would soon learn to 
rejoice that he was safe in glory. As for herself, the Bur- 
mans had always treated her with some respect ; she seemed 
to have gained immunity from personal insult, while her in- 
trepidity had won their admiration ; and he did not believe 
that even the rudest of them would dare to do her harm. 
No ; fruitful in resources as she had proved herself, she 
would get an appointment to carry some message of peace to 
the English, and so place herself under their protection. It 
would be a blessing to her and to his child if he was removed 



from them ; and he thanked God that his time was so near 
at hand. He felt thankful, too, that the execution was to 
take place in the morning. He should pass his own door on 
the way. There he might breathe his silent farewell, while 
she was spared the parting agony. He thought of Burmah, 
too, even then. The English would most likely be conquer- 
ors ; and then there would be nothing to hinder the propa- 
gation of Christianity. He even recollected — so calm and 
dispassionate were his thoughts — some passages in his trans- 
lation capable of a better rendering ; and then he speculated 
on the pillow he had lost that day, weighing the probabili- 
ties of its ever falling into his wife's hands, so that the manu- 
script would be recovered. And then he imagined that she 
did not find it, and went off into a visionary scene of its being 
brought to light years afterward, which he smiled at when 
he gave a sketch of these emotions, and did not fully de- 
scribe. At length the fatal hour drew nigh. They had no 
means of ascertaining it precisely, but they knew that it could 
not be very far distant. They waited with increased solem- 
nity. Then they prayed together, Mr. Judson's voice for all 
of them, and then he, and probably each of the others, 
prayed separately. And still they waited, in awful expeb- 
tancy. The hour passed by — they felt it mzist be passed — 
and there was no unusual movement in the prison. Still 
they expected and waited, till finally there woke a glimmer- 
ing of hope, a possibility that they had been deceived. And 
so, hoping, and doubting, and fearing, they lingered on, till 
the opening of the door assured them of what they had long 
suspected. It was morning. Then the jailer came ; and, in 
answer to their questions, chucked them mockingly under 
the chin, and told then, Oh, no ; he could not spare his be- 
loved children yet, just after — kicking the bamboo as he 
spoke, till all the chains rattled, and the five rows of fetters 
dashed together, pinching sharply the flesh that they caught 
between them — just after he had taken so much trouble to 
procure them fitting ornaments. 

" I ought to have stated before that the keeper, to whose 
share Mr. Judson's old pillow fell on the day they were so 


unceremoniously thrust into the inner prison, had afterward 
exchanged it for a better one, wondering, no doubt, at the 
odd taste of the white man. When he was again robbed 
of his clothes and bedding, on the day he was driven 
away to Oung-pen-la, one of the ruffians deliberately untied 
the mat which was used as a cover to the precious pillow, 
and threw the apparently worthless roll of hard cotton away. 
Some hours after, Moung Ing, stumbling upon this one relic 
of the vanished prisoners, carried it to the house as a token ; 
and, several months from that time, the manuscript which 
now makes a part of the Burmese Bible was found within, 

" They remained at Oung-pen-la six months, when Mr. 
Judson was, for the first time, released from his irons, to be 
employed as translator and interpreter to the Burmans. 
From the first, he had been particularly careful not to take 
any part in political affairs ; for, however the war might end, 
he did not wish the Burmans to receive an impression that 
he was in the interests of the English. He felt that it would 
be wrong to endanger his influence as a religious teacher by 
taking any step which would be likely to render him obnox- 
ious even to a conquered people. But now he had no choice. 
His own wishes in the matter were not consulted, any more 
than they had been when he was first thrown into prison. 
He was probably selected for the office because there was no 
one who could be better trusted, although it was evident 
that not the slightest confidence was reposed in him. He 
was carried to Ava under guard, kept in prison two days, 
and then, without being permitted to visit his own house but 
a few moments, was sent to Maloun. Here he remained 
about six weeks, when, in consequence of the advance of the 
English from Prome, he was hurriedly sent back to Ava. It 
was late in the night when he arrived, and he was taken 
through the streets directly past his own door. A feeble 
light glimmered within, assuring him that it was not alto- 
gether deserted ; but yet what might not have occurred in 
those six weeks ! He entreated permission to enter but for 
five minutes ; he threatened, he bribed, he appealed to their 


humanity, for he knew that even they, hard as they seemed, 
must have humanity somewhere ; but all without success. 
His conductors, with some show of feeling, assured him that 
they had orders to take him directly tp the court-house, and 
that they dared not disobey. He crouched down in an out- 
building until morning, when, after a slight examination, he 
was placed under guard in an out-of-the-way shed, which 
served as a temporary prison. At night of the same day, 
Moung Ing found him in this obscure place, where he had 
been all day without food. While conversing with the faith- 
ful Burman, Mr. Judson once or twice fancied there was 
something in his words or manner, or perhaps both, a little 
puzzling ; but the impression was only momentarj^, and the 
very sight of this messenger from his wife relieved him of a 
burden of apprehension. He immediately dispatched Moung 
Ing to the friendly governor, for aid in his nev/ difficulties, 
instructing him carefully as to his words and behavior, and, 
in the joy of his heart, bade him tell the tsayah-ga-dau to 
keep up courage one day more ; it was almost certain he 
should be with her on the next. As soon as the messenger 
was gone, Mr. Judson's thoughts immediately recurred to the 
singularity of his behavior, scarcely observable at the time, 
but now assuming much importance. His wife was doubt- 
less well, though Moung Ing had certainly not been very ex- 
plicit when inquired of ; she ?fiust be well, for had she not 
sent several messages, and herself suggested the application 
to the governor ? The child, too, was well ; he had said that 
unhesitatingly. Why had he hesitated in the other case ? 
Could it be, could it really be, that anything serious had be- 
fallen her, and they had concealed it from him ? But no ; 
those messages ! He remembered, however (it all came to 
him too clearly now), how ostentatiously the good-natured 
Burman had paraded one of those messages whenever he 
asked a question ; and yet, think as he would, they all re- 
solved themselves into two — she longed to see him, and she 
recommended an application to the governor. The messen- 
ger had certainly behaved strangely, and he had been 
strangely blinded. These two simple phrases had been re- 


peated so often, and in such variety of style, that tliey had 
been made to appear a dozen, and to contain a world of 
meaning ; and for the time he was fully satisfied. ' She must 
be living,' he repeated to himself ; * there is ample proof of 
that.' ' She must have been living,' answered a withering 
doubt within, ' when she gave the directions to Moung Ing.' 
After that one thought, he had no disposition to sleep. The 
tedious night at length dragged itself away ; and, though 
the governor sent for him as early as could reasonably be 
expected in the morning, a strange, vague apprehension 
seemed to concentrate whole ages in those few early hours. 
The kind old man had become his security with the Govern- 
ment, and set him free. With a step more fleet than for the 
last two years he had practiced, and in spite of the maimed 
ankles, which sometimes almost refused their office, he hur- 
ried along the street to his beloved home. The door stood 
invitingly open, and, without having been seen by any one, 
he entered. The first object which met his eye was a fat, 
half-naked Burman woman, squatting in the ashes beside a 
pan of coals, and holding on her knees a wan baby, so be- 
grimed with dirt that it did not occur to the father it could 
be his own. He gave but one hasty look, and hurried to the 
next room. Across the foot of the bed, as though she had 
fallen there, lay a human object, that, at the first glance, was 
scarcely more recognizable than his child. The face was of 
a ghastly paleness, the features sharp, and the whole form 
shrunken almost to the last degree of emaciation. The 
glossy black curls had all been shorn from the finely-shaped 
head, which was now covered by a close-fitting cotton cap, 
of the coarsest and — unlike anything usually coming in con- 
tact with that head — not the cleanest kind. The whole room 
presented an appearance of the very extreme of wretched- 
ness, more harrowing to the feelings than can be told. 
There lay the devoted wife, who had followed him so un- 
weariedly from prison to prison, ever alleviating his dis- 
tresses, without even common hireling attendance. He knew, 
by the very arrangement of the room, and by the expression 
of sheer animality on the face of the woman who held his 


child, that the Bengalee cook had been her only nurse. The 
wearied sleeper was awakened by a breath that came too 
near her cheek. Perhaps a falling tear might have been 
added ; for, steady as were those eyes in difficulties, daunt- 
less in dangers, and stern when conscience frowned, they 
were well used to tender tears. 

" One evening several persons at our house were repeating 
anecdotes of what different men in different ages had re- 
garded as the highest type of sensuous enjoyment ; that is, 
enjoyment derived from outward circumstances. ' Pooh ! ' 
said Mr. Judson ; ' these men were not qualified to judge. I 
know of a much higher pleasure than that. What do you 
think of floating down the Irrawaddy, on a cool, moonlight 
evening, with your wife by" your side, and your baby in your 
arms, free — all free? But you can not understand it, either ; 
it needs a twenty-one months' qualification ; and I can never 
regret my twenty-one months of misery, when I recall that 
one delicious thrill. I think I have had a better appreciation 
of what heaven may be ever since.' And so, I have no doubt, 
he had. 

" The reception of a lady was an incident in the English 
camp ; and Mrs. Judson's fame had gone before her. No 
one better than a true-born Englishman can discern precisely 
the measure of attention grateful to a woman in her situa- 
tion ; and there were innumerable minute touches in General 
Campbell's conduct which fixed her gratitude, and more still 
that of her husband on her account. It was not that his son 
was sent with the staff officers who came to escort her from 
the steamer ; nor that unexpected honors, in military guise, 
waited her on the shore, where she was received by Sir 
Archibald in person ; nor that her tent was larger and more 
commodious than his own, with the very agreeable addition 
of a veranda ; but it was a certain fatherly kindness and 
genuine heart interest, which made her feel as though she 
was receiving all these favors from a friend. 

"An incident that occurred a few days after the landing of 
the prisoners is perhaps worthy of notice. General Camp- 


bell was to give a dinner to the Burmese commissioners, and 
he chose to make it an affair of some pomp and magnificence. 
At a given order, almost as by magic, the camp was turned 
into a scene of festivity, with such a profusion of gold and 
crimson, and floating banners, as is thought most pleasing to 
an Oriental eye. When the dinner hour arrived, the company 
marched in couples, to the music of the band, toward the 
table, led by the general, who walked alone. As they came 
opposite the tent with the veranda before it, suddenly the 
music ceased, the whole procession stood still, and while the 
wondering Burmans turned their eager eyes in every direc- 
tion, doubtful as to what would be the next act in the little 
drama, so curious to them as strangers, the general entered 
the tent. In a moment he reappeared with a lady on his 
arm — no stranger to the conscious commissioners — whom he 
led to the table, and seated at his own right hand. The 
abashed commissioners slid into their seats shrinkingly, 
where they sat as though transfixed by a mixture of aston- 
ishment and fear. ' I fancy these gentlemen must be old 
acquaintances of yours, Mrs. Judson,' General Campbell re- 
marked, amused by what he began to suspect, though he did 
not fully understand it; 'and, judging from their appear- 
ance, you must have treated them very ill.' Mrs. Judson 
smiled. The Burmans could not understand the remark, but 
they evidently considered themselves the subject of it, and 
their faces were blank with consternation. 

" ' What is the matter with yonder owner of the pointed 
beard ? ' pursued Sir Archibald ; 'he seems to be seized with 
an ague fit/ 

" ' I do not know,' answered Mrs. Judson, fixing her eyes 
on the trembler, with perhaps a mischievous enjoymentof 
his anxiety, ' unless his memory may be too busy. He is an 
old acquaintance of mine, and may probably infer danger to 
himself from seeing me under your protection.' . 

"She then proceeded to relate how, when her husband was 
suffering from fever in the stifled air of the inner prison, with 
five pairs of fetters about his ankles, she had walked several 
Ljuiles to this man's house to ask a favor. She had left home 


early in the morning; but was kept waiting so long that it 
was noonday before she proffered her request, and received 
a rough refusal. She was turning sorrowfully away, when 
his attention was attracted by the silk umbrella she carried 
in her hand, and he instantly seized upon it. It was in vain 
that she represented the danger of her walking home with- 
out it ; told him she had brought no money, and could not 
buy anything to shelter her from the sun ; and begged that, 
if he took that, he would at least furnish her with a paper 
one, to protect her from the scorching heat. He laughed, 
and, turning the very suffering that had wasted her into a 
jest, told her it was only stout people who were in danger of 
a sunstroke — the sun could not find such as she ; and so 
turned her from the door. 

" Expressions of indignation burst from the lips of the 
listening officers ; and, try to restrain them as they would, 
indignant glances did somewhat detract from that high tone 
of courtesy which it is an Englishman's, and especially an 
English oflficer's, pride, to preserve in all matters of hospital- 
ity. The poor Burman, conscience-taught, seemed to under- 
stand everything that was passing, and his features were dis- 
torted with fear ; while his face, from which the perspiration 
oozed painfully, appeared, through his tawny skin, of a deathly 
paleness. It was not in a woman's heart to do other than 
pity him ; and Mrs. Judson remarked softly, in Burmese, 
that he had nothing to fear, and then repeated the remark to 
Sir Archibald. The conversation immediately became gen- 
eral, and every means was taken to reassure the timorous 
guests, but with little success. There sat the lady, whom all 
but one of them had personally treated with indignity, at the 
right hand of power, and her husband, just released from his 
chains, close beyond ; and they doubtless felt conscious that 
if they and their lady wives were in such a position thev 
would ask the heads of their enemies, and the request would 
be granted. 

" ' I never thought I was over and above vindictive,' re- 
marked Mr. Judson, when he told the story; 'but really it 
was one of the richest scenes I ever beheld.' 


'' A British officer, Major Calder Campbell, describing an 
adventure in Ava ' in the year 1826, gives a beautiful and 
affecting description of Mrs. Judson. Major Campbell, then 
a lieutenant, when descending the Irrawaddy River in a 
canoe manned by Burmans, was attacked in the night, whil^ 
asleep, by his faithless boatmen, and severely wounded and 
robbed. When waiting on the beach with much anxiety and 
distress for the passage of some friendly bark, a row-boat 
was seen approaching. 

" Signals of distress were made, and a skiff sent to his as- 
sistance. The following is the language of the writer : 

" ' We were taken on board. My eyes first rested on the 
thin, attenuated form of a lady — a white lady ! the first white 
woman I had seen for more than a year ! She was standing 
on the little deck of the row-boat, leaning on the arm of a 
sickly-looking gentleman with an intellectual cast of counte- 
nance, in whom I at once recognized the husband or the 

" ' His dress and bearing pointed him out as a missionary. 
I have said that I had not beheld a white female for many 
months ; and now the soothing accents of female words fell 
upon my ears like a household hymn of my youth. 

" ' My wound was tenderly dressed, my head bound up, and 
I was laid upon a sofa bed. With what a thankful heart did 
I breathe forth a blessing on these kind Samaritans ! With 
what delight did I drink in the mild, gentle sounds of that 
sweet woman's voice, as she pressed me to recruit my 
strength with some of that beverage "which cheers but not 
inebriates!" She was seated in a large sort of swinging 
chair, of American construction, in which her slight, emaci- 
ated, but graceful form appeared almost ethereal. Yet, with 
much of heaven, there were still the breathings of earthly 
feeling about her, for at her feet rested a babe, a little, wan 
baby, on which her eyes often turned with all a mother's 
love ; and gazing frequently upon her delicate features, with 
a fond yet fearful glance, was that meek missionary, her 
husband. Her face was pale, very pale, with that expression 
of deep and serious thought which speaks of the strong and 


vigorous mind within the frail and perishing body ; her 
brown hair was braided over a placid and holy brow ; but 
her hands — those small, lily hands — were quite beautiful ; 
beautiful they were, and very wan ; for ah, they told of dis- 
ease — of death — death in all its transparent grace — when the 
sickly blood shines through the clear skin, even as the bright 
poison lights up the Venetian glass which it is about to 
shatter. That lady was Mrs. Judson, whose long captivity 
and severe hardships amongst the Burmese have since been 
detailed in her published journals. 

" ' I remained two days with them ; two delightful days they 
were to me. Mrs. Judson's powers of conversation were of 
the first order, and the many affecting anecdotes that she 
gave us of their long and cruel bondage, their struggles in 
the cause of religion, and their adventures during a long res- 
idence at the court of Ava, gained a heightened interest 
from the beautiful, energetic simplicity of her language, as 
well as from the certainty I felt that so fragile a flower as 
she in very truth was, had but a brief season to linger on 

" ' Why is it that we grieve to think of the approaching 
death of the young, the virtuous, the ready ? Alas ! it is the 
selfishness of human nature that would keep to itself the 
purest and sweetest gifts of Heaven, to encounter the blasts 
and the blights of a world where we see them, rather than 
that they should be transplanted to a happier region, where we 
see them 7iot. 

"'When I left the kind Judsons, I did so with regret. 
When I looked my last on her mild, worn countenance, as 
she issued some instructions to my new set of boatmen, I 
felt my eyes fill with prophetic tears. They were not per- 
ceived. We parted, and we never met again ; nor is it likely 
that the wounded subaltern was ever again thought of by 
those who had succored him. Mrs. Judson and her child 
died soon after the cessation of hostilities.' " 




The treaty of peace was signed by the British and Bur- 
mese Commissioners on the 24th of February, 1826. On 
the sixth of the following month, Mr. and Mrs. Judson, 
with the infant Maria, left the English army encamped at 
Yan-ta-bo. They sailed down the Irrawaddy in a British 
gun-boat, and arrived at Rangoon March 21, 1826. Hav- 
ing at last emerged from the long nightmare of Oriental 
imprisonment, Mr. Judson turned to his life-work with un- 
diminished ardor. The English desired to retain his valu- 
able services as interpreter, and offered him a salary equiva- 
lent to three thousand dollars. But the offer was declined. 
Like the late Professor Agassiz, he had " no time to make 
money." He writes : 

" I feel a strong desire henceforth to know nothing 
among this people but Jesus Christ and Him crucified ; and 
under an abiding sense of the comparative worthlessness of 
all worldly things, to avoid every secular occupation, and all 
literary and scientific pursuits, and devote the remainder of 
my days to the simple declaration of the all-precious truths 
of the Gospel of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ." 

Mrs. Judson had rapidly recovered, and was now in per- 
fect health. 

" Even little Maria," he writes, " who came into the world 
a few months after my imprisonment, to aggravate her 


parents' woes, and who has been, from very instinct, it 
would seem, a poor, sad, crying thing, begins to brighten 
up her little face, and be somewhat sensible of our happy 

Dr. Price had been left behind at Ava. He had entered 
the service of the Burman king. He thought it his duty 
to live and die in the capital city ; and proposed to open a 
school for teaching several branches of useful learning, 
such as geography, astronomy, chemistry, etc. And he 
thought that " in a few years, perhaps twenty, the whole 
system of Burman religion, founded as it was on false 
astronomy and geography, would be completely under- 
mined and subverted."- 

When Mr. Judson arrived at Rangoon, he found that his 
little mission, the result of ten years of hard work, was 
completely broken up. He had left the Wades and Houghs 
in charge, but the war had driven them to Calcutta. At the 
very beginning of the campaign, before advancing up the 
Irrawaddy River, the English army had, of course, captured 
Rangoon, situated at its mouth — Burmah's great seaport. 
Rangoon offered but little resistance to the foreign invader. 
The missionaries, however, narrowly escaped with their 
lives. As the English fleet approached the town, Mr, 
Hough and Mr. Wade were arrested, imprisoned, and even 
put in irons. It was in vain for them to remonstrate, say- 
ing that " they were Americans and not English," for Bur- 
mans were not disposed to make any such nice distinctions. 
The prison-guard were ordered to massacre them upon the 
discharge of the first British gun. The executioners sharp- 
ened the instruments of death, and brandished them about 
the heads of the missionaries, to show with what dexterity 
and pleasure they would execute the fatal orders. The 
floor was strewn with sand to receive their blood. At this 
moment the foundations of the prison were shaken by a 
heavy broadside from Her Majesty's ship Liffcy, and a 
thirty-two-pound shot passed with a tremendous noise 


directly over the prison. The executioners, stricken with 
panic, threw down their knives and fled from the prison, 
fastening the door, however, behind them. Soon other 
Burmans came and dragged the prisoners to the place of 
execution. They were forced to kneel down. The exe- 
cutioner, with a large knife, was ordered to proceed. He 
had just lifted it to strike off the head of the prisoner 
nearest him, when Mr. Hough begged permission to speak 
to the officer in charge. He proposed that one or two of 
the prisoners be sent to the English ships, and assured the 
cowardly Burman that the firing would then cease directly. 
At that moment another broadside came from the Liffey, and 
the Burman officers and men again forsook their prisoners, 
and took refuge under the banks of a neighboring tank. 

During all this time Mrs. Hough and Mrs. Wade had 
been exposed to the greatest danger, from which they had 
escaped by disguising themselves as Burman women. Over 
their own clothes they had put the garments of their serv- 
ants ; had dressed their heads in the Burman style and 
blackened their hands and faces. Meanwhile Sir Archibald 
Campbell had sent a message to the governor of Rangoon : 
" If the Burmans shed a drop of white blood, we will lay 
the whole country in ruins and give no quarter." 

The Burman officials who had been frightened from 
their victims by the discharges of artillery, again seized 
them, and proceeded to confine them in a brick building. 
Here they were at last discovered, and rescued by the ad- 
vancing British troops. Having thus narrowly escaped 
martyrdom, Mr. Hough and Mr. Wade, with their wives, 
embarked for Calcutta, where they thought it best to re- 
main until the close of the war. So when Mr. Judson 
returned to Rangoon he was without a missionary associate. 
Mr. Wade was ready to join him as soon as he should 
decide as to the best place for renewed operations ; while 
Mr. Hough soon after entered the service of the British 


But missionary reinforcements had already come from 
America. Mr. Wade, while waiting in Calcutta for the war 
to close, was joined by George Dai^a Boardman, whose 
brief and saintly career was destined to make his name 
peculiarly fragrant to American Christians. He seemed an 
ideal missionary, so completely was he fitted for his work 
by his scholarly tastes, affectionate disposition, and fervent 
piety. He had taken up a newspaper a little while before, 
and had seen a notice of Colman's untimely death in Arra- 
can. In the twinkling of an eye there flashed through his 
mind the question and answer: " Who will go to fill his 
place ? " "/will go." 

He had married Sarah Hall, a native of Salem, Massa- 
chusetts. Those who knew her speak of " faultless features, 
moulded on the Grecian model, beautiful transparent skin, 
warm, meek blue eyes, and soft hair, brown in the shadow 
and gold in the sun." She was pronounced by her English 
friends in Calcutta to be " the most finished and faultless 
specimen of an American woman that they had ever 
known." From her earliest years she had possessed an 
enthusiasm for missions. When only thirteen, she wrote a 
poem upon the death at Rangoon of Mrs.- Judson's infant 
Roger. Little did the child dream that many years after 
she was to take the place of the ideal heroine of her child- 
hood, who, worn out with the prolonged horrors of Ava 
and Oung-pen-la, lay down to rest beneath the hopia-tree 
at Amherst. 

Mr. Wade and Mr. Boardman waited anxiously in Cal- 
cutta for news from the Judsons. They did not, however, 
wait in idleness. They were learning the Burman language, 
as best they could, and preaching in English in the Circular 
Road Baptist chapel, where they were permitted to see, as 
a result of their labors, many persons converted and bap- 
tized. When news came at last from Mr. Judson, they 
were ready to join him and labor wherever he should think 
it best. 


But to return to Mr. Judson in Rangoon. Not only did 
he find that the white teachers and their wives had been 
driven away by the jvar, but the native church membership 
was much reduced. He had left a church of eighteen dis- 
ciples. He found on his return only four. With the ex- 
ception of two, none, however, had disgraced their holy 

The learned teacher, Moung Shwa-gnong, had gone into 
the interior of the country, and soon afterward died of the 
cholera. The only four whom Mr. Judson could muster 
after the war had swept over Rangoon were Moung Shwa- 
ba, who had remained at the mission-house; Moung Ing, 
who with such fidelity served Mrs. Judson through all her 
long, bitter experiences at Ava ; and two faithful women, 
Mah-men-la and Mah-doke, who had been living in boats 
at Prome, the half-way place between Rangoon and Ava, 
and who instantly resolved to accompany the Judsons to 
Rangoon. These four faithful disciples were ready to fol- 
low their white teacher wherever he should think it best to 
establish a mission. 

It was out of the question to think of remaining at Ran- 
goon. The English were only holding the place temporarily, 
until the Burmans should pay their war debt. Indeed, at 
the close of the year, the English army did vacate Rangoon, 
and the Burmans resumed possession of their chief seaport. 
Should the missionaries therefore remain in Rangoon, they 
would still be under the cruel sway of Burman- despotism. 
In addition, the monarch at Ava was peculiarly exasperated 
with his subjects in the southern part of the empire, because 
they had put themselves under the benignant protection of 
the English ; many of the peaceful inhabitants were no 
doubt to be massacred by the royal troops. A state of 
anarchy followed the war. A famine succeeded, in which 
beasts of prey became proportionally bold. Tigers began to 
infest the suburbs of Rangoon, and carry off cattle and hu- 
man beings. A tiger was killed even in the streets of the 


city. All these circumstances impelled the missionaries to 
leave Rangoon. 

It was now no longer necessary for them to remain there 
in order to reach the native Burmans. One of the results of 
the war was that the British had wrested from the Burmans 
a large part of their sea-coast. The Tenasserim provinces 
had been ceded to the British. These embraced a strip of 
country along the the sea, 500 miles long, and from 40 to 
80 miles wide.* This country was peopled with BurmaHS, 
and the cruelty of the despot at Ava was sure to cause a 
large overflow of the population of Burmah proper into it. 
Here the Judsons might teach the new religion unmolested, 
under the protection of the British flag. 

But where upon this long strip of ceded territory should 
the mission be established? Just at this time Mr. Judson 
was invited by Mr. Crawfurd, the British Civil Commissioner 
of the new province, to accompany him on an exploring ex- 
pedition. The purpose of the expedition was to ascertain 
the best location for a town, which was to be the capital of 
the new territory — the seat of government and the head- 
quarters of the army. Mr. Judson's acquaintance with the 
language of the Burmans made him an invaluable assistant 
in such an enterprise, and finally Mr. Judson and Mr. Craw- 
furd selected as the site for the new city the promontory 
where the waters of the Salwen empty themselves into the 
sea. " The climate was salubrious, the land high and bold 
to the seaward, and the view of the distant hills of Ballou 
Island very captivating." The town, in honor of the Gov- 
ernor-General of India, was named Amherst. The procla- 
mation issued at the founding is quite characteristic of the 
state of society at that time in Burmah : 

" The inhabitants of the towns and villages who wish to come, shall 
be free from molestation, extortion, and oppression. They shall be free 
to worship as usual, temples, monasteries, priests, and holy men. The 
people shall go and come, buy and sell, do and live as they please, con 

* See Map II. 


forming to the laws. In regard to slavery, since all men, common peo- 
ple or chiefs, are by nature equal, there shall be under the English Gov- 
ernment no slaves. Whoever desires to come to the new town may 
come from all parts and live happy, and those who do not wish to re- 
main, may go where they please without hindrance." 

On July 2, 1826, Mr. and Mrs. Judson began their mis* 
sionary life in Amherst. They had the four faithful Ran- 
goon converts as the nucleus of a native church, and ex- 
pected soon to be joined by Mr. and Mrs. Wade, and Mr. 
and Mrs. Boardman. They were among the first settlers, 
and made their home right in the very jungle. There was 
a prospect that the new town would have a very rapid 
growth. Three hundred Burmans had just arrived, and re- 
ported that three thousand more were on their way in boats. 
It would not seem strange if in two or three years a city of 
twenty or thirty thousand inhabitants should spring up on 
this salubrious, wooded promontory. 

But before missionary operations were fairly begun, Mr. 
Judson was compelled reluctantly to visit Ava, the scene of 
his imprisonment. The English Government desired to 
negotiate a commercial treaty with the Burman king ; and 
Mr. Crawfurd, the Civil Commissioner of the newly-ceded 
provinces, was appointed envoy. He invited Mr. Judson to 
accompany him as a member of the embassy. The mission- 
ary's profound knowledge of the Burman language and 
character well qualified him for the delicate and difficult 
task of treating with the court at Ava. At first he firmly 
declined. He had no relish for diplomatic occupation, and 
he longed to plunge again into his own work. But when 
he was assured that, if he would go as an English ambassa- 
dor, every effort would be made to secure the insertion of a 
clause in the treaty granting religious liberty to the Bur- 
mans, so that the whole country would be thrown open to 
the Gospel, he reluctantly consented. The stubborn intoler- 
ance of the native Government had hitherto been the chief 
obstacle in his missionary work, and religious freedom for 


the Burmese was a blessing for which he had long prayed 
and striven in vain. 

This step, which proved to be a most unfortunate one, 
was, however, the result of the most mature deliberation. 
Mr. Judson with the English embassy arrived in Ava 
September 30, 1826, and remained there about two months 
and a half. This period embraces one of the saddest episodes 
of his life. He was forced to witness the scene of his pro- 
longed sufferings in prison, and yet was separated from the 
wife and babe who had shared with him those horrible ex- 
periences. He was engaged in the tedious and uncongenial 
task of wrestling as a diplomat with the stupidity and intoler- 
ance of the Burmese court. He soon learned that the king 
would on no terms agree to a clause in the treaty granting 
his subjects freedom of worship. And to crown his sorrows, 
on the 4th of November there was placed in his hands a 
sealed letter, containing the intelligence that Mrs. Judson 
was no more ! 

After the departure of her husband for Amherst, she had 
begun her work with good heart. She built a little bamboo 
dwelling-house and two school-houses. In one of these she 
gathered ten Burman children who were placed under the 
instruction of faithful Moung Ing ; while she herself assem- 
bled the few native converts for public worship every Sun- 
day. At one time she writes : 

" My female school will, I trust, soon be in operation. 
Then you shall hear from me constantly." 

And again : 

"After all the impediments which have retarded the prog- 
ress of our mission, after all our sufferings and afflictions, 
I can not but hope that God has mercy and a blessing in 
store for us. Let us strive to obtain it by our prayers and 
holy life." 

But in the midst of these sacred toils she was smitten 
with fever. Her constitution, undermined by the hard- 


ships and sufferings which she had endured, could not sus- 
tain the shock, and on October 24, 1826, in the 37th year of 
her age, she breathed her last. The hands so full of holy 
endeavors were destined to be suddenly folded for rest. 
She died apart from him to whom she had given her heart 
in her girlhood, whose footsteps she had faithfully follow- 
ed for fourteen years, over land and sea, through trackless 
jungles and strange crowded cities, sharing his studies and 
his privations, illumining his hours of gloom with her 
beaming presence, and with a heroism and fidelity unparal- 
leled in the annals of missions, soothing the sufferings of 
his imprisonment. He whom she had thus loved, and who, 
from his experience of Indian fever, might have been able to 
avert the fatal stroke, was far away in Ava- No missionary 
was with her when she died, to speak words of Christian 
consolation. The Burman converts like children gathered 
helplessly and broken-heartedly about their luhite mamma. 
The hands of strangers smoothed her dying pillow, and 
their ears received her last faint wandering utterances. 
Under such auspices as these her white-winged spirit took 
its flight to the brighter scenes of the new Jerusalem. 

In a letter to the Corresponding Secretary, Rev. Dr. 
Bolles, Mr. Judson wrote: 

" So far, therefore, as I had a view to the attainment of 
religious toleration in accompanying the embassy, I have 
entirely failed. I feel the disappointment more deeply on 
account of the many tedious delays which have already oc- 
curred, and which we anticipate during our return ; so that, 
instead of four or five months, I shall be absent from home 
seven or eight. 

"But, above all, the news of the death of my beloved wife 
has not only thrown a gloom over all my future prospects, 
but has forever embittered my recollections of the present 
journey, in consequence of which I have been absent from 
her dying bed, and prevented from affording the spiritual 
comfort which her lonely circumstances peculiarly required 



and of contributing to avert the fatal catastrophe which has 
deprived me of one of the first of women, the best of wives. 

" I commend myself and motherless child to your sympathy 
and prayers." 

But when writing to the mother of his beloved wife, he 
describes still more fully the sorrowful experience through 
which he passed : 

To Mrs. Hasseltine, 0/ Bradford, Mass. 

" AVA, December 7, 1S26. 

" Dear Mother Hasseltine : This letter, though intended 
for the whole family, I address particularly to you ; for it is 
a mother's heart that will be most deeply interested in its 
melancholy details. I propose to give you, at different times, 
some account of my great, irreparable loss, of which you will 
have heard before receiving this letter. 

" I left your daughter, my beloved wife, at Amherst, the 
5th of July last, in good health, comfortably situated, happy 
in being out of the reach of our savage oppressors, and an- 
imated in prospect of a field of missionary labor opening 
under the auspices of British protection. It affords me some 
comfort that she not only consented to my leaving her, for 
the purpose of joining the present embassy to Ava, but 
uniformly gave her advice in favor of the measure, whenever 
I hesitated concerning my duty. Accordingly I left her. 
On the 5th of July I saw her for the last time. Our parting- 
was much less painful than many others had been. We had 
been preserved through so many trials and vicissitudes, that 
a separation of three or four months, attended with no 
hazards to either party, seemed a light thing. We parted, 
therefore, with cheerful hearts, confident of a speedy reunion, 
and indulging fond anticipations of future years of domestic 
happiness. After my return to Rangoon, and subsequent 
arrival at Ava, I received several letters from her, written in 
her usual style, and exhibiting no subject of regret or appre- 
hension, except the declining health of our little daughter, 
Maria. Her last was dated the 14th of September. She says, 
*I have this day moved into the new house, and, for the first 


time since we were broken up at Ava, feel myself at home. 
The house is large and convenient, and if you were here I 
should feel quite happy. The native population is increasing 
very fast, and things wear rather a favorable aspect. Moung 
Ing's school has commenced with ten scholars, and more are 
expected. Poor little Maria is still feeble. I sometimes 
hope she is getting better ; then again she declines to her 
former weakness. When I ask her where papa is, she always 
starts up and points toward the sea. The servants behave 
very well, and I have no trouble about anything, excepting 
you and Maria. Pray take care of yourself, particularly as it 
regards the intermittent fever at Ava. May God preserve 
and bless you, and restore you in safety to your new and old 
home, is the prayer of your affectionate Ann.' 

" On the 3d of October, Captain F., civil superintendent of 
Amherst, writes, 'Mrs. Judson is extremely well.' Why she 
did not write herself by the same opportunity, I know not. 
On the i8th, the same gentleman writes, 'I can hardly think 
it right to tell you that Mrs. Judson has had an attack of 
fever, as before this reaches you she will, I sincerely trust, 
be quite well, as it has not been so severe as to reduce her. 
This was occasioned by too close attendance on the child. 
However, her cares have been rewarded in a most extraor- 
dinary manner, as the poor babe at one time was so reduced 
that no rational hope could be entertained of its recovery ; 
but at present a most favorable change has taken place, and 
she has improved wonderfully. Mrs. Judson had no fever 
last night, so that the intermission is now complete.' The 
tenor of this letter was such as to make my mind quite easy, 
both as it regarded the mother and the child. My next 
communication was a letter with a black seal, handed me by 
a person, saying he was sorry to have to inform me of the 
death of the child. I know not whether this was a mistake 
on his part, or kindly intended to prepare my mind for the 
real intelligence. I went into my room, and opened the letter 
with feelings of gratitude and joy, that at any rate the mother 
was spared. It was from Mr. B., assistant superintendent of 
Amherst, dated the 26th of October, and began thus : 


" ' My dear Sir : To one who has suffered so much, and with such 
exemplary fortitude, there needs but little preface to tell a tale of distress. 
It were cruel indeed to torture you with doubt and suspense. To sum 
up the unhappy tidings in a few words, Mrs. Judson is no tnore.' 

"At intervals I got through with the dreadful letter, and 
proceed to give you the substance as indelibly engraven on 
my heart : 

'"Early in the month she was attacked with a most violent fever. 
From the first she felt a strong presentiment that she should not recover, 
and on the 24th, about eight in the evening, she expired. Dr. R. was 
quite assiduous in his attentions, both as friend and physician. Captain 
F. procured her the services of a European woman from the 45th regi- 
ment ; and be assured all was done to comfort her in her sufferings, and 
to smooth the passage to the grave. We all deeply feel the loss of this 
excellent lady, whose shortness of residence among us was yet sufficiently 
long to impress us with a deep sense of her worth and virtues. It was 
not until about the 20th that Dr. R. began seriously to suspect danger. 
Before that period the fever had abated at intervals ; but its last approach 
baffled all medical skill. On the morning of the 23d, Mrs. Judson spoke 
for the last time. The disease had then completed its conquest, and 
from that time up to the moment of dissolution, she lay nearly motion- 
less, and apparently quite insensible. Yesterday morning I assisted in 
the last melancholy office of putting her mortal remains in the coffin, and 
in the evening her funeral was attended by all the European officers now 
resident here. We have buried her near the spot where she first landed, 
and I have put up a small, rude fence around the grave, to protect it 
from incautious intrusions. Your Httle girl, Maria, is much better. Mrs. 
W. has taken charge of her, and I hope she will continue to thrive under 
her care.' 

"Two daj'^s later, Captain Fenwick writes thus to a friend 
in Rangoon : 

" ' I trust that you will be able to find means to inform our friend of 
the dreadful loss he has suffered. Mrs. Judson had slight attacks of 
fever from the 8th or 9th instant, but we had no reason to apprehend the 
fatal result. I saw her on the i8th, and at that time she was free from 
fever, scarcely, if at all, reduced. I was obliged to go up the country on 
a sudden business, and did not hear of her danger until my return on the 
24th, on which day she breathed her last, at 8 P.M. I shall not attempt 
to give you an account of the gloom which the death of this most amiable 
woman has thrown over our small society. You, who were so well ac- 


quainted with her, must feel her loss more deeply; but we had jusl known 
her long enough to value her acquaintance as a blessing in this remote 
corner. I dread the effect it will have on poor Judson. I am sure you 
will take every care that this mournful intelligence may be opened to 
him as carefully as possible.' 

" The only other communication on this subject that has 
reached me, is the following line from Sir Archibald Campbell 
to the envoy: 'Poor Judson will be dreadfully distressed at 
the loss of his good and amiable wife. She died the other 
day at Amherst, of remittent fever, eighteen days ill.' 

" You perceive that I have no account whatever of the 
state of her mind, in view of death and eternity, or of her 
wishes concerning her darling babe, whom she loved most 
intensely. I hope to glean some information on these points 
from the physician who attended her, and the native converts 
who must have been occasionally present. 

" I will not trouble you, my dear mother, with an account 
of my own private feelings — the bitter, heart-rending anguish, 
which for some days would admit of no mitigation, and the 
comfort which the Gospel subsequently afforded — the Gos- 
pel of Jesus Christ, which brings life and immortality to 
light. Blessed assurance — and let us apply it afresh to our 
hearts, — that, while I am writing and you perusing these 
lines, her spirit is resting and rejoicing in the heavenly 
paradise, — 

" ' Where glories shine, and pleasures roll 
That charm, delight, transport the soul ; 
And every panting wish shall be 
Possessed of boundless bliss in Thee.' 

And there, my dear mother, we also shall soon be, uniting 
and participating in the felicities of heaven with her for 
whom we now mourn. * Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.' " 

"Amherst, February /^, 1827. 

"Amid the desolation that death has made, I take up my 

pen once more to address the mother of my beloved Ann. I 

am sitting in the house she built, in the room where she 

breathed her last, and at a window from which I see the tree 


that stands at the head of her grave, and the top of the 
' small rude fence ' which they have put up ' to protect it 
from incautious intrusion.' 

" Mr. and Mrs. Wade are living in the house, having arrived 
here about a month after Ann's death ; and Mrs, Wade has 
taken charge of my poor motherless Maria. I was unable to 
get any accounts of the child at Rangoon ; and it was only 
on my arriving here, the 24th ultimo, that I learned she was 
still alive. Mr. Wade met me at the landing-place, and as I 
passed on to the house one and another of the native 
Christians came out, and when they saw me they began to 
weep. At length we reached the house ; and I almost ex- 
pected to see my love coming out to meet me, as usual. But 
no ; I saw only in the arms of Mrs. Wade a poor little puny 
child, who could not recognize her weeping father, and from 
whose infant mind had long been erased all recollection of 
the mother who had loved her so much. 

" She turned away from me in alarm, and I, obliged to 
seek comfort elsewhere, found my way to the grave. But 
who ever obtained comfort there ? Thence I went to the 
house in which I left her, and looked at the spot where we 
last knelt in prayer and where we exchanged the parting 

"The doctor who attended her has removed to another 
station, and the only information I can obtain is such as the 
native Christians are able to communicate. 

" It seems that her head was much affected during her last 
days, and she said but little. She sometimes complained 
thus : 'The teacher is long in coming; and the new mission- 
aries are long in coming ; I must die alone, and leave my 
little one ; but as it is the will of God, I acquiesce in His will. 
I am not afraid of death, but I am afraid I shall not be able 
to bear these pains. Tell the teacher that the disease was 
most violent, and I could not write ; tell him how I suffered 
and died ; tell him all that you see ; and take care of the 
house and things until he returns.' When she was unable to 
notice anything else, she would still call the child to her, and 
charge the nurse to be kind to it, and indulge it in every- 


thing, until its father shall return. The last day or two she 
lay almost senseless and motionless, on one side, her head 
reclining on her arm, her eyes closed ; and at eight in the 
evening, with one exclamation of distress in the Burman lan- 
guage, she ceased to breathe. 

"February 7. I have been on a visit to the physician who 
attended her in her illness. He has the character of a kind, 
attentive, and skillful practitioner ; and his communications 
to me have been rather consoling. I am now convinced that 
everything possible was done, and that, had I been present 
myself, I could not have essentially contributed to avert the 
fatal termination of the disease. The doctor was with her 
twice a day, and frequently spent the greater part of the 
night by her side. He says that, from the first attack of the 
fever, she was persuaded she could not recover ; but that her 
mind was uniformly tranquil and happy in the prospect of 
death. She only expressed occasional regret at leaving her 
child and the native Christian schools before her husband, 
or another missionary famil}^, could arrive. The last two days 
she was free from pain. On her attention being roused by 
reiterated questions, she replied, ' I feel quite well, only very 
weak.' These were her last words. 

"The doctor is decidedly of opinion that the fatal termi- 
nation of the fever is not to be ascribed to the localities of 
the new settlement, but chiefly to the weakness of her consti- 
tution, occasioned by the severe privations and long-pro- 
tracted sufferings she endured at Ava. O, with what meek- 
ness, and patience, and magnanimity, and Christian fortitude 
she bore those sufferings ! And can I wish they had been 
less ? Can I sacrilegiously wish to rob her crown of a single 
gem ? Much she saw and suffered of the evil of this evil 
world, and eminently was she qualified to relish and enjoy 
the pure and holy rest into which she has entered. True, she 
has been taken from a sphere in which she was singularly 
qualified, by her natural disposition, her winning manners, 
her devoted zeal, and her perfect acquaintance with the lan- 
guage, to be extensively serviceable to the cause of Christ ; 
true, she has been torn from her husband's bleeding heart 


and from her darling babe ; but infinite wisdom and love 
have presided, as ever, in this most afflicting dispensation. 
Faith decides that it is all right, and the decision of faith 
eternity will soon confirm. 

"I have only time to add — for I am writing in great haste, 
with very short notice of the present opportunity of sending 
to Bengal — that poor little Maria, though very feeble, is, I 
hope, recovering from, her long illness. She began indeed to 
recover while under the care of the lady who kindly took 
charge of her at her mother's death ; but when, after Mr. 
Wade's arrival, she was brought back to this house, she 
seemed to think that she had returned to her former home, 
and had found in Mrs. Wade her own mother. And certainly 
the most tender, affectionate care is not wanting to confirm 
her in this idea." 

Mr. Judson returned to Amherst January 24, 1827. The 
native Christians greeted him with the voice •£ lamentation, 
for his presence reminded them of the great loss they had 
sustained in the death of Mrs. Judson. His hearth was des- 
olate. His motherless babe had been tenderly cared for by 
Mrs. Wade. Mr. and Mrs. Wade had arrived from Calcutta 
about two months before, and with them Mr. Judson made 
his temporary home. Two months later Mr. and Mrs. 
Boardman arrived, so that the missionary force was in- 
creased to five. The little native church of four members 
was, however, reduced by the departure of Moung Ing. 
This poor fisherman, who had been Mrs. Judson's faithful 
companion at Ava, had, of his own accord, conceived the 
purpose of undertaking a missionary excursion to his late 
fishing-grounds, Tavoy and Mergui, towns south of Am- 
herst, situated on the Tenasserim coast. He was henceforth 
to be a fisher of men. 

Mr. Boardman, in speaking of his first meeting with Mr. 
Judson, said, " He looks as if worn out with sufferings and 
sorrows." He did not, however, neglect his missionary 
work. He met the Burmans for public worship on Sunday, 


and each day at family worship new inquirers stole in and 
were taught the religion of Christ. He was alst) busily em- 
ployed in revising the New Testament in several points 
which were not satisfactorily settled when the translation 
was made ; for his besetting sin was, as he himself described 
it, "a lust for finishing." He completed two catechisms for 
the use of Burman schools, the one astronomical, the other 
geographical, while his sorrowful heart sought comfort in 
commencing a translation of the Book of Psalms. 

Little Maria was the solace of his studies. But she, too, 
was taken from him. " On April 24, 1827," he writes, " my 
little daughter Maria breathed her last, aged two years and 
three months, and her emancipated spirit fled, I trust, to the 
arms of her fond mother." 

Mr. Boardman, who had only just arrived from Calcutta, 
constructed a coffin, and made all the preparations for the 
funeral. At wine o'clock the next day little Maria was 
placed by her mother's side beneath the hopia-tree. "After 
leaving the grave," Mr. Boardman writes, " we had a de- 
lightful conversation on the kindness and tender mercies of 
our heavenly Father. Brother Judson seemed carried 
above his grief." 

And so at the age of thirty-nine he found himself alone 
in the world, bereft of his wife and two children. 

To Mrs. Hasseltine he wrote : 

" Amherst, 4;>r»V 26, 1827. 
" My little Maria lies by the side of her fond mother. The 
complaint to which she was subject several months proved 
incurable. She had the best medical advice ; and the kind 
care of Mrs. Wade could not have been, in any respect, ex- 
ceeded by that of her own mother. But all our efforts, and 
prayers, and tears could not propitiate the cruel disease ; the 
work of death went forward, and after the usual process, ex- 
cruciating to a parent's heart, she ceased to breathe on the 
24th instant, at 3 o'clock p.m., aged two years and three 
months. We then closed her faded eyes, and bound up her 
discolored lips, where the dark touch of death first appeared, 


and folded her little hands on her cold breast. The next 
morning we made her last bed in the small enclosure that 
surrounds her mother's lonely grave. Together they rest in 
hope, under the hope-tree {hopid), which stands at the head 
of the graves ; and together, I trust, their spirits are rejoic- 
ing after a short separation of precisely six months. 

"And I am left alone in the wide world. My own dear 
family I have buried ; one in Rangoon, and two in Amherst. 
What remains for me but to hold myself in readiness to fol- 
low the dear departed to that blessed world, 

" ' Where my best friends, my kindred dwell, 
Where God, my Saviour, reigns.' " 

The time had now come when the little mission estab- 
lished at Amherst, with such doleful omens, was to be 
broken up. Amherst was being rapidly eclipsed by the 
town of Maulmain, situated on the coast about twenty-five 
miles farther north, at the very mouth ot the Salwen. 
Maulmain was also a new town, the settlers building their 
houses right in a thick jungle. But within a year of the 
first settlement, while the number of houses in Amherst 
amounted to two hundred and thirty, and the population to 
twelve hundred, the population of Maulmain had rapidly 
swelled to twenty thousand. The reason for this growth 
was an unfortunate misunderstanding between the Civil 
Commissioner, Mr. Crawfurd, and the Commander-in-Chief, 
Sir Archibald Campbell. 

The latter made Maulmain instead of Amherst the head- 
quarters of his army. He regarded Maulmain as a more 
strategical position. The harbor, too, of Amherst, though 
spacious, and capable of accommodating ships of large bur- 
den, was difficult of access, and, being farther out from the 
mouth of the Salwen than Maulmain, was dangerous during 
the southwest monsoon. The presence of the commander- 
in-chief and of his army at Maulmain, naturally attracted 
emigration thither, and it soon became apparent that this 
town instead of Amherst was to be the metropolis of the 


ceded provinces of Tenasserim. Accordingly it seemed 
best to transfer the mission to Maulmain. On May 28, 
1827, Mr. and Mrs. Boardman removed thither from Am- 
herst, and took possession of a frail bamboo mission-house, 
situated about a mile south of the cantonments of the Eng- 
lish army. The site for the mission had been presented 
by Sir Archibald Campbell. " It was a lonely spot, and the 
thick jungle close at hand was the haunt of wild beasts 
whose howls sounded dismally on their ears in the night- 

On the loth of August Mr. Judson left Amherst, and the 
little enclosure, the hope-tree, and the graves which con- 
tained the mouldering remains of all that were dearest to 
him on earth. He joined the Boardmans at Maulmain, and 
on the 14th of November was followed by Mr. and Mrs. 
Wade, and the native Christians, together with thirteen 
native school children. Mah-men-la, however, the first fe- 
male convert among the Burmans, had already been laid to 
rest by the side of her white mamma. The following pathet- 
ic description of her death is from Mr. Judson's journal : 

" She was taken ill before I left Amherst. When her case 
became dangerous, she was removed to the mission-house, 
after which she indulged but little hope of recovery. She 
therefore made her will, and gave up every worldly care. In 
her will she bequeathed fifty rupees to her brother, the hus- 
band of Mah Doke, one hundred and fifty to the missionaries, 
and the remainder (two hundred, perhaps,) to her two adopted 
boys. She has left the boys in our charge, most earnestly 
desiring and praying that they may be brought up in the 
Christian religion. No one influenced her to give us any 
part of her little property, nor had we the least idea that she 
intended to do so until she desired Moung Shwa-ba to write 
an article to that effect. 

" When her will was written, she said, * Now I have done 
with all worldly things.' Since that, she has enjoyed great 
peace of mind. She does not express a doubt that her name 


is written in heaven, and that she is hastening to a blissful 
immortality. She suffers considerable pain with much pa- 
tience, and, in order to fortify her mind, often compares her 
sufferings to those of her divine Master. She is not inclined 
to converse much ; but how delighted you would be to hear 
her, now and then, talk of entering heaven, and of meeting 
Mrs. Judsofi, and other pious friends ! The other day, after 
having dwelt for some time on the delightful subject, and 
mentioned the names of all the friends she should rejoice to 
meet, not omitting dear little Maria, she stopped short and 
exclaimed, ' But first of all, I shall hasten to where my Sav- 
iour sits, and fall down, and worship and adore Him, for His 
great love in sending the teachers to show me the way to 
heaven.' She says that she feels a choice in her mind to die 
now rather than to be restored to health, but desires that the 
will of God may be done. She was much gratified with your 
letter to-day, and more reconciled to the idea of not seeing 
you again on earth. I feel it a pleasure to do anything for 
her, she is so grateful and affectionate." 

Sorrows do not come as single spies, but by battalions. 
Six months intervened between the deaths of Mrs. Judson 
and little Maria, and within three months of the burial of 
the latter, even before leaving Amherst, Mr. Judson heard 
of the death of his venerable father, who departed this life 
at Scituate, Massachusetts, November 26, 1826, in the sev- 
enty-fifth year of his age. Mr. Judson writes these words 
of comfort to the beloved ones in the distant homestead at 
Plymouth : 

" Maulmain, December 13, 1827. 

"My Dear Mother and Sister: Yours of the 5th Feb- 
ruary last reached me a few days ago, and gave me the par- 
ticulars of that solemn event which has laid the venerable 
head of our family in the silent dust. * Death, like an over- 
flowing stream, sweeps us away ' into the ocean of eternity. 
You have heard, from my letters of December 7, '26, and 
May 3, '27, of the ravages which death has made in my own 


dear family. I am left alone in this wide wilderness, to wait 
all the days of my appointed time, till my own change come. 
I pray earnestly that you may both enjoy much of the divine 
presence, in your solitary, bereaved circumstances, and that 
both you and I may be preparing, under the repeated strokes 
of our heavenly Father's hand, to follow the dear departed 
ones, and enter upon the high enjoyment of everlasting 




Before proceeding directly to consider Mr; Judson's life 
in Maulmain, it may be well to describe a peculiar phase of 
his mental and spiritual experience, which has been termed 
Guyonism. He seemed at one time to be inclined to em- 
brace the mystical tenets of Thomas a Kempis, Fenelon, 
and Madame Guyon, and it was feared that he was leaning 
toward those monkish austerities which belong peculiarly 
to the spirit of the Roman Church. Certainly there are 
passages here and there in his writings which point in this 
direction. And yet, often in these extracts it can be dis- 
cerned with what cautious and stealthy steps he trod the 
perilous pathway leading toward monastic asceticism. On 
the occasion of sending a gift of money to his sister in 
America, he writes : 

" But I give it on the express condition that you appropri- 
ate part of it to purchase for yourself the life of Lady Guyon 
.... and I hope you will read it diligently, and endeavor to 
emulate that most excellent saint so far as she was right." 

Again, he wrote to a fellow-missionary : 

"As to the other matter, the land of Beulah lies beyond 
the valley of the shadow of death. Many Christians spend 
all their days in a continual bustle, doing good. They are 
too busy to find either the valley or Beulah. * Virtues they 
have, but are full of the life and attractions of nature, and 



unacquainted with the paths of mortification and death. Let 
us die as soon as possible, and by whatever process God 
shall appoint. And when we are dead to the world, and 
nature, and self, we shall begin to live to God." 

Again, to the missionaries at Maulmain he wrote : 
" Particularly I would exhort brother Bennett to remem- 
ber, among other things, the example of the Abbe de Paris, 
who, after having tried various modes of self-denial, in order 
to subdue his spirit, and gain the victory over the world, at 
length selected a crazy man to be the inmate of his miserable 
hovel. Now, though I am doubtful about self-inflicted aus- 
terities, I am quite sure that evangelical self-denial eminently 
consists in bearing patiently and gratefully all the inconven- 
iences and pain which God in His providence brings upon 
us, without making the least attempt to remove them, unless 
destructive of life or health, or, in one word, capacity for 

The same pietistic vein may be found in the following 
resolutions, bearing date May 14, 1829: 

" I. Observe the seven seasons of secret prayer every day. 

"2. 'Set a watch before my mouth, and keep the door of 
my lips.' 

"3. See the hand of God in all events, and thereby become 
reconciled to His dispensations. 

"4. Embrace every opportunity of exercising kind feelings, 
and doing good to others, especially to the household of 

" 5. Consult the internal monitor on every occasion, and 
instantly comply with his dictates. 

" 6. Believe in the doctrine of perfect sanctification attain- 
able in this life." 

It is also true that during this period of his life Mr. Jud- 
son withdrew himself from general society. When not di- 
rectly engaged in missionary work, he spent many of his 
waking hours alone in a bamboo hermitage, built in the jungle 
far from humankind among the haunts of tigers. Here in 


his endeavor to crucify his passionate love of life he had a 
grave dug, and " would sit by the verge of it and look into 
it, imagining how each feature and limb would appear, days, 
months, and years after he had lain there." 

But concerning all these traces of a morbid inclination 
toward the monastic quietism of the Romish Church, there 
can be no more just and discriminating judgment than that 
expressed after his death by the tender and faithful com- 
panion of his latest years : 

"About Guyonism I only wish the papers were more numer- 
ous. There was no error of heart — scarcely one of judgment 
in it, but a peculiar mental organization, driven by suffering 
on suffering, by such bereavement as can never be appreci- 
ated in a land like this, and intensity of devotion, to a morbid 
development. A mind of less strength or a heart of less 
truthfulness and sincerity would have been wrecked, as many 

a noble one has been Strong enthusiasm of character 

often drove him into peculiar positions, but his sound judg- 
ment and elevated piety always carried him through tri- 
umphantly, turning often the natural temperament to good 

These excesses of self-mortification were the outcome of 
a transient and superficial mood rather than of his real and 
underlying character. The slow torture of the twenty-one 
months at Ava and Oung-pen-la had left behind a residuum 
of temporary enfeeblement. His strong mental vision was 
for a time beclouded by the mists which arose from his 
shattered physical constitution. The loss of wife and child 
at Amherst trod close upon the sufferings at Ava, and these 
gloomy views and practices were born during the long en- 
suing domestic solitude. The deep shadow of this loneli- 
ness lies athwart many of his letters. 

To Mrs. Hasseltine. 

" The Solitary's Lament. 
" ' Together let us sweetly live. 
Together let us die, 


And hand in hand those crowns receive 
That wait us in the sky.' 

" Thus Ann and I, for many a year, 
Together raised our prayer ; 
One-half reached Heaven's propitious ear 
One-half was lost in air. 

" She found a distant, lonely grave, 
Her foreign friends among ; 
No kindred spirit came to save, 
None o'er her death-bed hung. 

" Her dying thoughts we fain would know; 
But who the tale can tell, 
Save only that she met the foe. 
And where they met she fell. 

"And when I came, and saw her not 
In all the place around. 
They pointed out a grassy spot, 
Where she lay under ground. 

•'And soon another loved one fled. 
And sought her mother's side ; 
In vain I stayed her drooping head ; 
She panted, gasped, and died. 

" Thus one in beauty's bright array, 
And one all poor and pale. 
Have left alike the realms of day, 
And wandered down the vale — 

" The vale of death, so dark and drear, 
Where all things are forgot ; 
Where lie they whom I lovf d so dear ; 
I call — they answer not. 

" O, bitter cup which God has given ! 
Where can relief be found ? 
Anon I lift my eyes to heaven, 
Anon in tears they're drowned. 

" Yet He who conquered death and hell 
Our Friend at last will stand ; 


And all whom He befriends shall dwell 
In Canaan's happy land — 

" Shall joyful meet, no more to part. 
No more be forced to sigh, 
That death will chill the warmest heart. 
And rend the closest tie. 4 

" Such promise throws a rainbow bright 
Death's darkest storm above, 
And bids us catch the heaven-born light, 
And praise the God of love. 

" My dear Mother Hasseltine : I wrote the above lines 
some time ago, and intended to add a longer postscript ; but 
find myself pressed for time at the present moment. 

" It is a long time since I had a line from any of your fam- 
ily. I hope you will not quite forget me, but believe me 
ever, Yours most affectionately, 

"August 17, 1829." 

To the Betinetts in Rangoon. 

" .... I never had a tighter fit of low spirits than for 
about a week after you had gone. I sometimes went, after 
dinner, to take a solitary walk in the veranda, and sing, with 
my harmonious voice, ' Heartless and hopeless, life and love 
all gone.' However, I arn rallying again, as the doctors say. 
But I have not yet got the steam up in the Old Testament 
machine. * Toil and trouble,* etc. Heaven must be sweet 

after all these things. I have no more to say I hope 

you will pray for me, for you have not such inveterate habits 
to struggle with as I have contracted through a long course 
of religious sinning. O, my past years in Rangoon are spec- 
tres to haunt my soul ; and they seem to laugh at me as they 
shake the chains they have riveted on me. I can now do 
little more than beg my younger brethren and sisters not to 
live as I have done, until the Ethiopian becomes so black 
that his skin can not be changed. And yet I have sometimes 
sweet peace in Jesus, which the world can neither give nor 


take away. O, the freeness, the richness of divine grace, 
through the blood of the cross ! 

" Your affectionate, unworthy brother, 


To the sisters of his wife he wrote as follows : 

" Maulmain, October 24, 1828. 

" My dear Sisters M. and A. : You see from the date that 
it is the second anniversary of the triumph of death over all 
my hopes of earthly bliss. I have this day moved into a 
small cottage, which I have built in the woods, away from 
the haunts of men. It proves a stormy evening, and the des- 
olation around me accords with the desolate state of my 
own mind, where grief for the dear departed combines with 
sorrow for present sin, and my tears flow at the same time 
over the forsaken grave of my love and over the loathsome 
sepulchre of my own heart." 

" October 24, 1829. 

"And now the third anniversary returns, and finds me in 
the same cottage, except it has been removed nearer the 
mission-house, to make way for a Government building. I 
live alone. When I wish to be quite so, Mrs. W. sends me 
my food ; at other times I am within the sound of a bell that 
calls me to meals. 

" ' Blest who, far from all mankind, 
This world's shadows left behind. 
Hears from heaven a gentle strain, 
Whispering love, and loves again.' 

But O, that strain I have hitherto listened in vain to hear, or 
rather have not listened aright, and therefore can not hear. 

" Have either of you learned the art of real communion 
with God, and can you teach me the first principles ? God 
is to me the Great Unknown, I believe in Him, but I find 
Him not." 

And to his own mother and sister: 

"I still live alone, and board with some one of the families 
that compose the mission. After the Wades left, I boarded 


with the Bennetts. After the Bennetts left for Rangoon, I 
boarded with the Cutters. ' After the Cutters left for Ava, I 
boarded with the Hancocks, where I now am. I have no 
family or living creature about me that I can call my own, 
except one dog, Fidelia, which belonged to little Maria, and 
which I value more on that account. Since the death of her 
little mistress, she has ever been with me ; but she is now 
growing old, and will die before long ; and I am sure I shall 
shed more than one tear when poor Fidee goes." 

The sadness of this period was also intensified by the 
slowness of American Christians in sending on reinforcements. 
He often felt that he had been left out on the skirmish line 
almost alone. He writes to the Corresponding Secretary : 

" I am startled and terrified to find that, by several unex- 
pected moves, I am left, as it were, alone ; there being not 
another foreigner in all the country that can preach the 
Gospel to the perishing millions, north and south, or feed the 
infant churches, except, indeed, Mrs. Bennett, who has begun 
to take the management of the female meetings. My prayers 
to God and my entreaties to my brethren at home seem to 
have equal eflficacy. Since the last missionaries left home, I 
perceive no further signs of life. All seem to have gone to 
slumbering and sleeping." 

In acknowledging a gift of iifty dollars from the Rev. Mr. 
Grow, of Thompson, Connecticut, he wrote : 

"The fact is, that we are very weak, and have to complain 
that hitherto we have not been well supported from home. 
It is most distressing to find, when we are almost worn out, 
and are sinking, one after another, into the grave, that many 
of our brethren in Christ at home are just as hard and im- 
movable as rocks ; just as cold and repulsive as the mountains 
of ice in the polar seas. But whatever they do, we can not 
sit still and see the dear Burmans, flesh and blood like our- 
selves, and like ourselves possessed of immortal souls, that 
will shine forever in heaven, or burn forever in hell — we can 
not see them go down to perdition without doing our very 


Utmost to save them. And thanks be to God, our labors are 
not in vain. We have three lovely churches, and about two 
hundred baptized converts, and some are in glory. A spirit 
of religious inquiry is extensively spreading throughout the 
country, and the signs of the times indicate that the great 
renovation of Burmah is drawing near. O, if we had about 
twenty more versed in the language, and means to spread 
schools, and tracts, and Bibles, to any extent, how happy I 
should be ! But those rocks and those icy mountains have 
crushed us down for many years." 

And at the close of an imploring appeal for new men, he 
says : 

" May God forgive all those who desert us in our extremity. 
May He save them all. But surely, if any sin will lie with 
crushing weight on the trembling, shrinking soul, when grim 
death draws near ; if any sin will clothe the face of the final 
Judge with an angry frown, withering up the last hope of the 
condemned, in irremediable, everlasting despair, it is the sin 
of turning a deaf ear to the plaintive cry of ten millions of 
immortal beings, who, by their darkness and misery, cry, day 
and night, '■Come to our rescue, ye bright sons and daughters of 
America, come and save us, for we are sinking into hell.'" 

A letter written after his death, by his surviving widow, 
shows how intense was his longing for the sympathy and 
co-operation of his brethren at home. " I can not regret 
that Dr. Judson has gone. I believe it would have broken 
his heart to see Burmah open, and such a lack of mission- 
ary spirit. God spared him the trial, and -though it has left 
me so very desolate, I feel a sort of gladness too, when I 
think of it. I suppose he sees it there, but he can under- 
stand it better." 

After all, it was his intense piety that carried him into 
these extremes of self-denial. His was a great religious 
nature, wrestling for Christ-likeness. A small and weak 
nature always keeps within limit. Soil that is too thin for 
grain, never produces weeds. From the time that Mr. Jud- 


son gave his heart to God at Andover, he was possessed 
with a consuming zeal to be made holy. On this point, Mrs. 
E. C. Judson says: "I was first attracted by the freshness, 
the originality, if I may so call it, of his goodness." .... 
" His religion mingled in his letters generally, and in his 
conversation — a little silver thread that it is impossible to 

He was a man of prayer. His habit was to walk while 
engaged in private prayer. One who knew him most in- 
timately says that " His best and freest time for meditation 
and prayer was while walking rapidly in the open air. He, 
however, attended to the duty in his room, and so well was 
this peculiarity understood that when the children heard a 
somewhat heavy, quick, but well-measured tread, up and 
down the room, they would say, ' Papa is praying.' " 

" His was the life," one writes, " of what the English 
would call 'a good fellow,' elevated and purified and beauti- 
fied by religion." Though he was a most brilliant and 
genial companion, yet, in his mind, every social relation was 
a tie by which men might be drawn heavenward. When 
Sir Archibald Campbell, the hero of the first Burman war, 
was on the eve of setting sail for his native land, crowned 
with the laurels of victory, he received from the lips of the 
humble and faithful ambassador of the cross, whom he had 
befriended, the following tender and solemn words of Chris- 
tian admonition : 

" Maulmain, January 8, 1829. 

" My dear Sir : A few days ago I heard of your intention 
to leave this place on your return home. 

"When I reflect on your many kindnesses to me and my 
beloved wife, now, I trust, in heaven, from the time I first 
saw you at Yebbay to the present moment, and on the many 
pleasant interviews with which I have been honored, it is 
natural that I should feel a desire to express my gratitude 
for your goodness, and my regret at your departure. But, 
besides that desire, I have, for a few days, had an impression 
on my mind which I can not avoid, and dare not counteract 


I would fain say a few words to you on a subject which you 
have probably never had a friend faithful enough to present 
plainly to your mind. I feel that I write under the influence 
of a higher power ; and I beg that if my words offend you, 
you will still have the charity to believe that I am influenced 
by none other than the most disinterested, affectionate, and 
respectful sentiments. And though you should at first be 
displeased, I can not but hope that you will sometimes suf- 
fer the question to intrude on your most retired moments, 
whether the words I speak are not the words of eternal 

" But why should I proceed with hesitation and fear ? Why 
give way to an unbelieving heart ? He who inclines me to 
write will incline your heart to receive my words. If even a 
heathen monarch appointed one of his courtiers to accost 
him every morning with the warning salutation, ' Philip, thou 
must die,' surely Sir Archibald Campbell, of a Christian 
country and Christian habits, will be willing, for a moment, 
to turn awa)'- his ear from the voice of flattery, and listen to 
the monitory voice of sober truth. 

" And yet true religion is a very different thing from all 
that you have probably been acquainted with. True religion 
is seldom to be found among mitred prelates and high dig- 
nitaries. It consists not in attachment to any particular 
church, nor in the observance of any particular forms of 
worship. Nor does it consist in a mere abstinence from 
flagrant crimes, a mere conformity to the rules of honesty and 
honor. True religion consists in a reunion of the soul to that 
great, omnipresent, infinite Being, from whom we have all be- 
come alienated in consequence of the fall. In our natural 
state, we spend our days in seeking the wealth and honors 
of this life, which we yet know to be but short and transitory, 
and we become too forgetful of that awful eternity to which 
we are rapidly hastening. So great is the blinding influence 
of sin, so successful are the fatal machinations of the god of 
this world, that when we can not stay the near approach of 
death and eternity, we still endeavor to quiet our conscience 
and pacify our fears by vague and indefinite ideas of the 



mercy of God, and by the hope that it will be well with us 
hereafter, though the still voice within whispers that all is 
wrong ; and thus we are apt to suffer year after year to pass 
away, while we drink the intoxicating draught of pleasure, 
or climb the height of human ambition. O, Sir Archibald, 
the glittering colors of this world will soon fade away ; the 
bubbles of life will soon burst and disappear ; the cold grave 
will soon close upon our worldly enjoyments, and honors, 
and aspirings ; and where then will our souls be ? 

''God's own eternal Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, came 
down from heaven to rescue us from the delusion of this 
world, the power of sin, and the doom of the impenitent. 
But 'unless we have the spirit of Christ, we are none of His.' 
His own divine lips have declared, 'Except a man be born 
again, he can not see the kingdom of God.' And the am- 
bassador of Christianity must not hesitate to declare this 
solemn truth, plainly and fearlessly, to the king and the beg- 
gar, the rich and the poor, if he would clear his own con- 
science, and manifest true love to their souls. 

" Allow me, then, to say to thee, Sir Archibald : Turn away 
thine eye from the fleeting shadows, and thine ear from the 
empty sounds of earth. Open the eye of thy mind to the 
uncreated beauties of that divine Being who is ever with 
thee, and ever waiting to be gracious. Listen to the call of 
His Holy Spirit. Give thine heart to the Friend and Lover 
of man, who hung and died on the cross to redeem us from 
eternal woe, and thou shalt find such peace and sweetness as 
thou hast never yet conceived of. Thou wilt be astonished 
that thou couldst have lived so many years ignorant of such 
transcendent beauty, insensible to those excellences which 
fill heaven with rapture, and in some instances make a heaven 
of earth. But if thou wilt not give thy heart to God, thou 
wilt never find true happiness here, thou wilt never see His 
face in peace. 

"1 do not suppose that, amid your present hurry, you will 
find leisure to pay any attention to the topic I now present. 
But perhaps when oceans have intervened between us, when 
resting in the. bosom of your own native land, the truths of 


this letter may, through the divine blessing, find their way 
to your heart. 

" Farewell, Sir Archibald, and while all around you flatter 
and praise, while the plaudits of your king and country 
sound in your ears, believe that there is one person, humble 
and unknown, who prays in his retirement for your immortal 
soul ; whose chief desire is to see you on the great day in- 
vested, not with the insignia of earthly monarchs, but with 
the glorious crown of eternal life, and who desires ever to 
subscribe himself, 

" With heartfelt affection and respect, 

" Your sincere friend and faithful servant, 


In the ''Threefold Cord,*— a letter written by Mr. Jud- 
son to a young convert, — and in the following '■'■Pencilled 
Fragments''' and "Rules of Life,'' it may be seen with 
what strong and eager wing-beats of aspiration his soul 
struggled to mount into the serene atmosphere of a pure 
and holy life. 

Pencilled Fragments, without date. 

Topics to Encourage Prayer, 

"Wrestling Jacob. 

" Friend at midnight. 

"The unjust judge. 

" Satan fights neither with small nor great, save only with 
the spirit of prayer. 

"An effort made in aridity, in wandering of thought, under 
a strong tendency to some other occupation, is more pleasing 
to God, and helps the soul forward in grace more than a 
long prayer without temptation. 

" Whatever others do, let my life be a life of prayer. 

" Get the King's daughter, and you get all ; the grace of 
devotion is the daughter of God." 

* See Appendix C 


Pomts of Self-denial. 

" I. The passion for neatness, uniformity, and order in ar- 
rangement of things — in dress, in writing, in grounds. 

" 2. A disposition to suffer annoyance from little impro- 
prieties in the behavior and conversation of others. 

'• 3. A desire to appear to advantage, to get honor and 
avoid shame. ' Come sha?ne, come sorrow,' etc. 

" 4. A desire for personal ease and comfort, and a reluc- 
tance to suffer inconvenience. 

'• 5. Unwillingness to bear contradiction." 

Rules of Life. 

''Rules adopted on Sunday, April 4, 1819, the era of com- 
mencing public ministrations among the Burmans ; revised 
and re-adopted on Saturday, December 9, 1820, and on Wed- 
nesday, April 25, 1821 : 

" I. Be diligent in secret prayer, every morning and 

" 2. Never spend a moment in mere idleness. 

" 3. Restrain natural appetites within the bounds of tem- 
perance and purity. ' Keep thyself pure.' 

" 4. Suppress every emotion of anger and ill will, 

" 5. Undertake nothing from motives of ambition or love 
of fame. 

" 6. Never do that which, at the moment, appears to be 
displeasing to God. 

" 7. Seek opportunities of making some sacrifice for the 
good of others, especially of believers, provided the sacrifice 
is not inconsistent wij^h some duty. 

" 8. Endeavor to rejoice in every loss and suffering in- 
curred for Christ's sake and the Gospel's, remembering that 
though, like death, they are not to be wilfully incurred, yet, 
like death, they are great gain. 

" Re-adopted the above rules, particularly the ^t/i, on Sun- 
day, August 31, 1823. 

" Re-adopted the above rules, particularly the 1st, on Sun- 
day, October 29, 1826, and adopted the following minor rules ; 

" I. Rise with the sun. 


" 2. Read a certain portion of Burman every day, Sundays 

" 3. Have the Scriptures and some devotional book in con- 
stant reading. 

" 4. Read no book in English that has not a devotional 

" 5. Suppress every unclean thought and look. 

" Revised and re-adopted all the above rules, particularly 
the second of the first class, on Sunday, March 11, 1827. 

" God grant me grace to keep the above rules, and ever 
live to His glory, for Jesus Christ's sake. A. Judson." 

"August g, 1842. 

" I. Be more careful to observe the seasons of secret 

" 2. Never indulge resentful feelings toward any person. 

" 3. Embrace every opportunity of exercising kind feel- 
ings, and doing good to others, especially to the household 
of faith. 

" 4. Sweet in temper, face, and word, 
To please an ever-present Lord. 

" Renewed December 31, 1842. 

^^ December 2)'i-, 1842. Resolved to make the desire to please 
Christ the grand motive of all my actions." 

It may be well to glance at some of the forms of exces- 
sive self-mortification which this great religious nature 
assumed under the stress of sickness, sorrow, and solitude. 
He was reared in the sound common-sense views of New 
England. He knew the value of moi>ey and the necessity 
of providing for the future by thrifty habits and close 
economy. Now all this he felt it his duty to give up. 
His advice to young men who were coming out as mission- 
aries was, " Never lay up money for yourselves or your 
families. Trust in God from day to day, and verily you 
shall be fed." He was allowed by the Governor-General 
of India five thousand two hundred rupees,* in considera- 

* About $2,600. 


tion of his services at the treaty of Yandabo and as a mem- 
ber of the embassy to Ava. Besides this, the presents he 
received while at Ava amounted to two thousand rupees.* 
All this money he paid into the treasury of the mission. 
Nor did he regard this as a donation. His view was that 
whatever a missionary might earn by such necessary and 
incidental outside work belonged, in the nature of the case, 
to the Board by which he was employed. But not only 
did he cheerfully give up these perquisites, but at a single 
stroke he transferred to the mission all of his private prop- 
erty, the slow accumulation of many years of thrift. He 
thus wrote to the Corresponding Secretary: 

"Maulmain, May-y., 1S28. 

" Rev. and dear Sir : When I left America, I brought 
with me a considerable sum of money, the avails of my own 
earnings and the gifts of my relatives and personal friends. 
This money has been accumulating at interest for many 
years under the management of a kind friend to the mission, 
and occasionally receiving accessions from other quarters, 
particularly at the close of the late war, until it amounts to 
twelve thousand rupees. I now beg leave to present it to the 
Board, or rather to Him 'who loved us and washed us from 
our sins in His own blood.' I am taking measures to have 
the money paid to the agent of the Board, and the payment 
will, I trust, be effected by the end of this year. 

" I would suggest, lest a temporary suspension of the ne- 
cessity of remitting money should occasion some relaxation 
of the usual efforts made to meet the current expenses of the 
mission, whether it may not be advisable to invest a sum 
equivalent to that which I now pay the agent, viz., six thou- 
sand dollars, as part of a permanent fund. But this I leave 
entirely to the discretion of the Board. 

"Yours, faithfully, 

"A Missionary. 

"P. S. — It is not from an affected desire of concealment 

* About $1,000. 


that the writer has subscribed himself ' A Missionary.' He 
is sensible that the tenor of the letter will, to those who are 
acquainted with the state of the mission, sufficiently betray 
him. But this is not the case with the public in general ; 
and so far as it may be thought desirable not to throw away 
the influence of example, it is quite sufficient to tell the pub- 
lic that the money is given by a missionary, without specify- 
ing the individual." 

And not only so, but he and Mr. Wade proposed to re- 
linquish a twentieth, and conditionally, even a tenth of theit 
respective salaries, and afterward he desired to have his own 
salary lessened by one-quarter. 

Letters to the Corresponding Secretary. 

"Maulmain, Septefnber i, 182S. 

" Rev. and dear Sir : Since it is to be ascribed to the want 
of money, rather than to that of men, that the Baptists in the 
United States of America make such feeble efforts to send 
the Gospel through the world, inasmuch as the want of 
money prevents the managers of missions from presenting 
those invitations and encouragements which would be gladly 
embraced by many young men who are waiting the call of 
Providence, we feel the importance of recurring practically 
to the golden rule, that every iiidividiial do his duty in furnish- 
ing those means which are absolutely necessary to carry on 
the great war with the prince of darkness and his legions in 
this fallen world. Feeling, also, that missionaries and min- 
isters are under peculiar obligations, beyond any other classes 
of Christians, to take the lead in contributing of their substance, 
and encouraged by our Saviour's commendation of the poor 
widow in the Gospel, we have entered on a course of living 
which will, we hope, enable us to offer our two mites ; and 
we propose, therefore, to relinquish annually one-twentieth 
of the allowance which we receive from the Board of Mis- 

"We respectfully suggest that a similar proposal be made 
to the Baptist ministers in the United States ; and we engage 
that, as soon as it shall appear that one hundred ministers, 


including ourselves, have resolved to transmit annually to 
the treasurer of the American Baptist Board of Foreign Mis- 
sions one-twentieth of all their regular income, whether de- 
rived from their salaries or estates, we will relinquish a 
second twentieth of our allowance, that is, one-tenth of the 

" And lest it be said that we now receive high allowances, 
and can, therefore, afford to make some retrenchment, we 
state, not by way of ostentation, but merely to meet the re- 
mark, that, considering our allowances cover all our personal 
expenses except building or house rent, conveyance on mis- 
sion business, and charges for medical attendance, we receive 
less than any English missionaries of any denomination, in 
any part of the East, and as little as any American mission- 
aries in those parts, notwithstanding the expense of living on 
this coast is probably greater than at a majority of other 
stations. We remain, yours faithfully, 


"J. Wade." 

" Maulmaix, June 19, 1829. 

" My dear Sir : I propose, from this date, to lessen my 
usual allowance by one-quarter, finding, from experience, that 
my present mode of living will admit the retrenchment ; this 
arrangement not to interfere with the proposals made under 
date of September last, concerning the one-twentieth and 
one-tenth. Yours faithfully, 


But love of money was not the only worldly appetite 
which he nailed to the cross. He cut to the quick that 
passion for fame which was an inborn trait, and which had 
been inordinately stimulated by his parents during his 
earliest childhood. His overweening ambition received its 
first mortal wound, as he often remarked, when he became 
a Baptist. He declined the honorary degree of Doctor of 
Divinity conferred upon him by the corporation of Brown 
University in 1823, and in May, 1828, wrote as follows to 
the editor of the Missionary Magazine : 


" Dear Sir : I beg to be allowed the privilege of request- 
ing my correspondents and friends, through the medium of 
your magazine, no longer to apply to my name the title 
which was conferred on me in the year 1823 by the corpora- 
tion of Brown University, and which, with all deference and 
respect for that honorable body, I hereby resign. 

"Nearly three years elapsed before I was informed of the 
honor done me, and two years more have been suffered to 
pass, partly from the groundless idea that it was too late to 
decline the honor, and partly through fear of doing what 
might seem to reflect on those who have taken a different 
course, or be liable to the charge of affected singularity, or 
superstitious preciseness. But I am now convinced that the 
commands of Christ and the general spirit of the Gospel are 
paramount to all prudential considerations, and I only regret 
that I have so long delayed to make this communication. 
" Yours, etc., A. Judson." 

The difficulty of writing his biography is enhanced by the 
fact that he destroyed, as far as possible, all his correspond- 
ence, including/a letter of thanks for his services from the 
Governor-Geniral of India, and other papers of a similar 
kind. He sej^med determined that his friends should have 
no material with which to construct eulogiums. He wanted 
to do his work and then forget all about it, and have every- 
one else also forget it. He was like a bee that flies into the 
hive with her load of pollen, and depositing it there, flies 
away again, without looking behind, leaving it for the other 
bees to pack it away in the cell. How little to the taste of 
his sister must it have been to receive from her brother, of 
whom she was so justly proud, such a commission as this: 

" Maulmain, May 28, 1829. 

" My dear Sister : Yours of October i6th last arrived yes- 
terday. In regard to the quitclaim, it is impossible for me 
to ascertain, at this distance, what particular forms are re- 
quii-ed by the laws of the United States. But if you, or 
brother, or any person will send me such an instrument as 



the case requires, I will complete and return it. I am rathei 
glad, however, that the first did not answer, because I have 
now a request to make which I doubt whether you would 
comply with, if I did not make your compliance a condition 
of my returning you the said instrument. My request is, that 
you will entirely destroy all my old letters which are in your 
and mother's hands, unless it be three or four of the later 
ones, which you may wish to keep as mementoes. There 
are several reasons for this measure, which it would take too 
much time to detail. Suffice it to say, tjiat I am so very de- 
sirous of effecting a complete destruction of all my old writ- 
ings, that you must allow me to say positively (as the only 
means of bringing you to terms) that I can not send you the 
instrument you desire until I have an assurance, under your 
hand, that there is nothing remaining, except as mentioned 

Again, Mr. Judson had a very strong- relish for literature 
and linguistic research. One can no l-^ fail to observe the 
poetic gems, original and quoted, scattered through his cor- 
respondence. The Burman literature, with its Buddhistic 
books and its fascinating poetry, was a vast mine unex- 
plored. He was tempted to trace the winding paths which 
were ever opening before his scholarly mind, and to search 
this great and ancient treasure-vault. Might he not trans- 
late into English some beautiful fragments of this literature, 
and so enkindle in some of the highly-organized minds of 
the Western world a greater interest in foreign missions ? 
But no. He turned resolutely away from the alluring pros- 
pect. He was determined not to know anything among the 
Burmans save Jesus Christ and Him crucified. As a mis- 
sionary he was unwilling to disperse his mental forces over 
the wide surface of literary and philosophical pursuit, but 
insisted on moving along the narrow and divinely-appointed 
groove of unfolding the word of God and meting it out to 
suit the wants of perishing man. 

But perhaps the severest sacrifice of all was the denial of 


his social instincts. It was not because he was unendowed 
with social sensibility that he so cut himself off from the 
State or conventional dinner and from a fashionable inter- 
course with Sir Archibald Campbell, and other cultivated 
Englishmen, as to incur the stigma of being called " odd." 
He did not withdraw to his hermitage in the jungle because 
he was a fierce and sullen fanatic. On the contrary, one 
who knew him most intimately says that " Perhaps his most 
remarkable characteristic to a superficial observer was the 
extent and thorou^ily genial nature of his sociableness." 
Indeed, there was a spice of truth in the remark sneeringly 
made by a fashionable woman that " Judson abstained from 
society not from principle, but from cowardice^he was like 
the drunkard who was afraid to taste lest he should not 
know when to stop." " His ready humor," Mrs. Judson 
writes, "his aptness at illustration, his free flow of generous, 
gentlemanly feeling made his conversation peculiarly bril- 
liant and attractive, at\d such interchanges of thought and 
feeling were his delight." " He was not," she adds, " a born 
angel, shut without the pale of humanity by his religion." 
His was not the stern, unaesthetic nature of the great re- 
former and theologian who, though he lived his life on the 
Lake of Geneva, nowhere betrays, in his voluminous writ- 
ings, that he was at all conscious of the beautiful panorama 
spread out before him. He was, as has been said of another, 
" a creature who entered into everj' one's feelings, and could 
take the pressure of their thought instead of urging his own 
»vith iron resistance." He was, in truth, 

". . . . Not too bright or good 
For human nature's daily food ; 
For transient sorrows, simple wiles, 
Praise, blame, love, kisses, tears, and smiles." 

The author, among his own scanty childhood recollections 
of his father, well remembers the tenderness with which he 
nursed his sick boy; and a missionary associate says, "He 


had a peculiarly fascinating way of endearing himself to 
everybody whose hearts were open to his kindness." Mrs, 
E. C. Judson writes : 

" He was always planning pleasant little surprises for his 
family and neighbors, and kept up through his married life 
those little lover-like attentions which I believe husbands are 
apt to forget. There was, and always must have been, a 
kind of rotnance about him (you will understand that I use 
the word italicized for want of a better) which prevented 
every-day life with him from ever being commonplace. If 
he went out before I was awake in the morning, very likely 
some pretty message would be pinned to my mosquito-cur- 
tain. If he was obliged to stay at a business-meeting, or any 
such place, longer than he thought I expected (and often 
when he did not stay over the time), some little pencilled 
line that he could trace without attracting attention, would 
be dispatched to me. And often when he sat at his study- 
table, something droll or tender or encouraging or suggestive 
of thought, pencilled on a broken scrap of paper, sometimes 
the margin of a newspaper, was every little while finding its 

way to my room He was always earnest, enthusiastic, 

sympathizing, even in the smallest trifles, tender, delicate, 
and considerate — never moody, as he has sometimes been de- 
scribed, but equally communicative, whether sad or cheerful. 
.... He was always, even in his playfulness, intellectual ; 
and the more familiar, the more elevated." 

The little thoughtful attentions which he was continually 
paying to his fellow-missionaries, betrayed with what hearti- 
ness he entered into all their joys and sorrows. His friends, 
the Bennetts, had sent their children to America. One day 
Mr. Judson surprised them with a present of the portraits 
of their absent little ones, for which he had himself sent to 
this country. His genial appreciation of the kindness of 
o hers beams from this little card that found its way into 
the missionary magazine : 

"A. Judson desires to present, through the American Baptist 


Magazine, his thanks to the many kind friends of himself and 
the mission, who have sent him, by the hands of brother and 
sister Wade, and their associates, various donations of wear- 
ing apparel, books, stationery, etc. Some of the articles are 
of great value, and all of them are very acceptable, being 
such as he requires for daily use. The faces of the donors 
he knows not ; but many of their names he has marked, and 
the notes and letters accompanying the presents have repeat- 
edly called forth the tear of gratitude and love. The ac- 
quaintance thus commenced, though not personal, he expects 
will be perfected in that world where there is no sea to sepa- 
rate friends, no barrier to impede the interchange of mutual 
love. And he rejoices in the belief that every distant ex- 
pression and recognition of fraternal affection here below 
will form an additional tie, binding heart to heart, in the 
world above ; that every cup of cold water given to a disciple 
will become a perennial stream, flowing on from age to age, 
and swelling the heavenly tide of life and gladness." 

He had a remarkable gift for comforting people, and was 
indeed a son of consolation. A lady to whom he paid a 
visit of condolence upon the death of her mother wrote to 
her friend, " He must have been peculiarly sympathetic 
himself, or he could not have entered into every one's sor- 
rows so easily." To this trait in his character the wife who 
survived him bears eloquent testimony : 

" Before Sir Archibald Campbell left the provinces, he took 
his stand and never attended a fashionable dinner afterward. 
He. gradually, too, broke off from intimate association with 
the missionaries, partly, perhaps, from a lack of congeniality 
of thought, partly from his sense of the worth of time. It 
any one was in trouble, however, he was sure to be there, 
and his power to soothe I have never seen equalled. Every 
tone of his voice seemed calculated to touch the innermost 
chord of a troubled heart." 

How exquisitely soothing are the words with which he 
strives to comfort a heart-broken mother, weeping in her 



room after her husband has gone on board ship with her 
little girls, about to sail for America. 

'• Sovereign love appoints the measure 
And the number of our pains, 
And is pleased when we take pleasure 
In the trials He ordains." 

" Infinite love, my dear sister, in the person of the Lord 
Jesus, is even now looking down upon you, and will smile if 
you offer Him your bleeding, breaking heart. All created 
excellence and all ardor of affection proceed from Him. He 
loves you far more than you love your children ; and He 
loves them also, when presented in the arms of faith, far 
more than you can conceive. Give them up, therefore, to His 
tender care. He will, I trust, restore them to you under 
greater advantages, and united to Himself ; and you, who 
now sow in tears, shall reap in joy. And on the bright 
plains of heaven they shall dwell in your arms forever, and 
you shall hear their celestial songs, sweetened and heightened 
by your present sacrifices and tears. 

"Yours, A. JuDSON." 

Again he writes to the same bereaved lady : 

" What a miserable world is this ! No sooner does the 
heart's pulse begin to take a little hold, than snap it goes. 
How many times more shall I have to sing that melancholy 

" ' Had we never loved so kindly, 
Had we never loved so blindly, 
Never met, or never parted. 
We had ne'er been broken-hearted ! ' 

Even those poor culprits, Elsina and Mary, do so frequently 
squeeze out the tear, that it is painful to think of them. I 
don't wonder that you say your heart is ready to break. I 
almost wonder how you can breathe. And I don't think that 
Mrs. Wade's sweet, but cruel letters have helped the matter at 
all. But be patient, poor soul ! Heaven will be sweeter for 
all this, though you may be unwilling to believe it. And we 


have every reason to pray and to hope that the dear absent 
ones will be with you to all eternity." 

From what has been written on the subject of Guyonisni, 
it can easily be seen how near at one period of his life, un- 
der the stress of grief and physical enfeeblement, Mr. Jud- 
son approached the perilous verge of fanaticism. He, how- 
ever, soon recovered his mental and spiritual equilibrium, 
and in the busy whirl of missionary activity, and later in 
the formation of new social and domestic relations, threw 
off whatever excesses may temporarily have characterized 
his views and practices of self-denial. We subjoin a frag- 
ment, probably a scrap torn from the close of a letter : 

" Leaving one party to prove that the standard of Christian 
morality is lowered since the days of the apostles, and another 
party to assert and expect the restoration of miraculous pow- 
ers, let us adopt a middle course, the golden medium — Holy 
AS THE APOSTLES, WITHOUT THEIR POWER — and then ' the glory 
of this latter house shall be greater than that of the former.' " 

Having thus turned aside to study the peculiar phase of 
spiritual experience through which Mr. Judson passed, that 
we might catch as through a window a glimpse of the very 
interior of his character, we now resume the narrative of his 
incessant toils. We left him by the freshly-made graves of 
his wife and child at Amherst. Amherst and Maulmain, 
situated about twenty-five miles apart upon the coast of a 
newly-settled province, were competing for the honor of be- 
ing the metropolis of British Burmah.* They were both 
planted in the jungle, dependent for their growth upon the 
tide of population which kept streaming away from the op- 
pressions of Burman despotism toward the enlightened and 
liberal English rule that prevailed throughout the Tenasse- 
rim provinces. The scale, as has already been stated, was 
turned in favor of Maulmain, by the fact that Sir Archibald 

* See Map II. 



Campbell had chosen it as the headquarters of his army. It 
consequently grew into a large city with marvellous rapidity, 
while Amherst dwindled into insignificance. 

The missionaries at first thought it best to have two 
stations, one at Amherst and the other at Maulmain — the 
Wades to hold the ground in the former place, and the 
Boardmans in the latter, while Mr. Judson should move 
backward and forward between the two points. But they 
soon decided not to attempt to keep their hold on Am- 
herst, but to concentrate all their forces in Maulmain. This 
town was situated at the mouth of the Salwen, on its east- 
ern bank. It consisted principally of one street which ex- 
tended along the river-front about two miles. Behind the 
city was a long range of hills, dotted here and there with 
the graceful pagoda. In front swept the broad swift Salwen, 
" in which an English sloop-of-war was lying at anchor, and 
curiously-shaped Indian boats were passing to and fro with 
each changing tide." Directly across the river lay the 
province of Martaban, still under Burman rule, the secure 
haunt of robbers and pirates ; while far off to the seaward 
one could catch a glimpse of the high hills of Ballou Island. 

The Boardmans were the first to remove to Maulmain, 
and were soon followed by the Wades, while Mr. Judson 
came last. We find in Mr. Boardman's journal, under date 
of August 12, 1827, the following minute: 

" The Burman merchant to whom I gave the books called on me yes- 
terday, for further information on some point which he did not fully un- 
derstand. While he was here, the head man of the village also came ; 
and these two together, with our Burman teacher, who seems to be in- 
quiring, entered into some particular discussion of the Christian history 
and doctrine. In the midst of this discussion, how great was my joy on 
beholding Mr. Judson approaching the house. It is now probable that 
we shall all be settled together at this place." 

The mission-house had been erected by the Boardmans 
at the expense of the mission, upon ground given by Sir 
Archibald Campbell. It was situated about a mile south of 


the English barracks, on a gentle westerly and southerly 
declivity, so that it commanded a view of the river and the 
sea. It contained three rooms fifteen feet square, and a 
veranda on all sides, but enclosed on three sides for a 
study, store-room, dressing-room, etc. The General had 
offered the missionaries a site within the cantonments, but 
they chose rather to be where they could come into closer and 
more direct contact with the natives. This, however, ex- 
posed them landward to tigers, and riverward to robbers 
from Martaban. Their perilous situation is thus described 
in a letter from Mrs. Boardman to an intimate friend in 
Salem : 

" My VERY DEAR FRIEND : I have hitherto refrained from letting 
you know the extreme loneliness of our condition, and the constant danger 
to which we have been exposed Maulmain, the place ol our resi- 
dence, is separated from the Burman province of Martaban only by the 
river. The opposite side is the refuge of robbers, who come over in 
parties twenty or thirty in number, armed with muskets, spears, knives, 
etc. Thus equipped, they break into houses in the most daring manner, 
seize everything valuable, and retreat immediately with their booty to 
the other side of the river, where they are entirely beyond the reach of 
British authority. They have in one or two instances surprised and 
destroyed whole villages that were left unguarded ; and in one place they 

even attacked a guard of Sepoys Thus surrounded by dangers, 

we live alone, in a house of such frail materials that it could be cut 
open in any part with a pair of scissors, in the midst of a desolate wood, 

and at some little distance from even a Burman neighbor The 

military cantonments are about a mile distant, and we are the only 

Europeans living outside We came to this place, wishing, I 

trust, to spend and be spent among this people, and trusting in 
an Almighty arm for protection. Be assured, my dear friend, we felt 
happy in our decision. We saw this wretched, deluded people perishing 
in their ignorance of the Gospel ; we thought of the love of the Saviour 
to precious souls ; we cast a glance toward Gethsemane and Calvary, 
and that was sufficient. Shall we consult our own ease and comfort, we 
said, or shall we be willing to take joyfully the spoiling of our goods ? 
This was the question, and, I trust, the grace of God enabled us to 
choose the latter." 

And they were soon called upon to endure the spoiling of 


their goods. Tlie description is given in the words of Mrs 
E. C. Judson : 

" On the evening of the fourth day, as it deepened into 
night, the books of study were thrown aside, and the book of 
God taken in their stead ; then the prayer was raised to 
heaven, and the little family went to rest. Feeble were the 
rays of the one pale lamp, close by the pillow of the young 
mother, scarce throwing its light upon the infant resting in 
her bosom, and penetrating into the remote darkness, but by 
feeble fiickerings. So sleep soon brooded over the shut eye- 
lids, and silence folded its solemn wings about the little 

" The infant stirred, and the mother opened her eyes. Why 
was she in darkness ? and what objects were those scattered 
so strangely about her apartment, just distinguishable from 
the gray shadows ? The lamp was soon relighted, and start- 
ling was the scene which it revealed. There lay, in odd con- 
fusion, trunks, boxes, and chests of drawers, all rifled of their 
contents ; and strewed carelessly about the floor, were such ar- 
ticles as the marauders had not considered worth their taking. 
While regarding in consternation, not appreciable by those 
who have access to the shops of an American city, this spoil- 
ing of their goods, Mrs. Boardman chanced to raise her eye 
to the curtain, beneath which her husband had slept, and she 
thought of the lost goods no more. Two long gashes, one at 
the head and the other at the foot, had been cut in the mus- 
lin ; and there had the desperate villains stood, glaring on 
the unconscious sleeper with their fierce, murderous eyes, 
while the booty was secured by their companions. The 
bared, swarthy arm was ready for the blow, and the sharp 
knife or pointed spear glittered in their hands. Had the 
sleeper opened his eyes, had he only stirred, had but a 
heavy, long-drawn breath startled the cowardice of guilt — 
ah, had it ! But it did not. The rounded limbs of the little 
infant lay motionless as their marble counterfeit ; for if the 
rosy lips had moved but to the slightest murmur, or the tiny 
hand crept closer to the loved bosom in her baby dreams, the 
chord in the mother's breast must have answered, and the 


death-Stroke followed. But the mother held her treasure to 
lier heart and slept on. Murderers stood by the bedside, re- 
garding with callous hearts the beautiful tableau ; and the 
husband and father slept. But there was one Eye open — the 
Eye that never slumbers ; a protecting wing was over them, 
and a soft, invisible hand pressed down their sleeping lids. 

" Nearly every article of value that could be taken away 
had disappeared from the house ; and though strict search 
was made throughout the neighborhood, no trace of them 
was ever discovered. After this incident. Sir Archibald 
Campbell furnished the house with a guard of Sepoys during 
the night ; and as the rapid increase of the population soon 
gave it a central position in the town, the danger of such 
attacks was very much lessened." 

It was at this exposed spot that the Judsons, thciBoard- 
mans, and the Wades mustered their forces, and stood pre- 
pared to take advantage of the inflowing tide of Burmese 
population. They took with them from Amherst their whole 
little flock of native converts and inquirers, namely, Moung 
Shwa-ba, Moung Ing, Moung Myat-poo, Mah Doke, with 
her husband, Moung Dwah, and Moung Thah-byoo, who 
afterward became the apostle to the Karens. Seventeen of 
the female scholars also accompanied them, besides the two 
little boys left motherless by the lamented Mah Men-la. 

The missionaries and their converts at once began sayat 
work. There were soon in Maulmain four widely-separated 
centres of Gospel influence, namely : the mission-house 
where Mr. Boardman labored; Mr. Judson's zayat, about 
two miles and a half north of the mission premises, in a very 
populous part of the town (" a little shed projecting into 
one of the dirtiest, noisiest streets of the place"); Mr. 
Wade's zayat, out in the country, about half a mile south 
of the mission-house ; and, besides, a reading sayat, where 
Moung Shwa-ba and Moung Ing alternately read the 
Scriptures to all the passers-by. At each of these stations 
public worship was held, followed by close personal conver- 


satlon with any who desired to become acquainted with the 
new rehgion. Nor did the word thus preached return void. 
They soon had the happiness of baptizing Moung Dvvah, 
one of the inquirers who had accompanied them from Am- 
herst, and others speedily followed his example. 

Some of the most stubborn cases yielded, little by little, 
to Mr. Judson's solemn and gentle persuasion. He describes 
a certain Moung Bo as follows : 

" I noticed once in the annals of the Rangoon mission a 
man of the first distinction in point of talents, erudition, gen- 
eral information, and extensive influence. His progress has 
been so slow that I have not mentioned him before ; but he has 
attended me ever since the zayat was opened, his house being 
on the opposite side of the street. He was an intimate 
friend of Moung Shwa-gnong, and has apparently been going 
through a process similar to what my dear brother, now, I 
trust, in heaven, experienced. He has relinquished Bud- 
dhism, and got through with Deism and Unitarianism, and 
now appears to be near the truth. Many a time, when con- 
templating his hard, unbending features, and listening to his 
tones of dogmatism and pride, I have said in my heart, 
' Canst thou ever kneel, a humble suppliant, at the foot of 
the cross ? ' But he has lately manifested some disposition 
to yield, and assures me that he does pray in secret." 

Although the English rule prevented the application of 
the Burman iron mall, yet the young converts did not es- 
cape persecution. 

" Ko Myat-kyau is," Mr. Judson writes, " a brother of the 
first native chief in the place, nearly fifty years of age, of 
most respectable rank in society, more so than any other 
that has been baptized, possessed of a clear mind, considera- 
ble native eloquence, and an uncommon degree of mental 
and bodily activity. His literary attainments are scanty ; 
but he has command of handsome language, particularly 
that which is current in the higher classes of society. He 
has been an inquirer after truth many years, and has dili- 


gently investigated the systems of Buddh, of Brahma, and of 
Mahomet. At length he embraced the religion of Jesus 
Christ with all his heart and soul, manifesting more zeal and 
ardor than commonly characterize his cool, considerate coun- 
trymen. He has suffered as much persecution as can be 
openly inflicted under British government. All his relations 
and friends joined in a most appalling cry against him ; his 
wife commenced a suit for divorce ; and his brother publicly 
declared that, if he had the power of life and death, he would 
instantly wipe out with his blood the disgrace brought upon 
the family. Our friend bore it all with the meekness of a 
lamb, and conducted himself with such forbearance and 
Christian love that the tide has begun to turn in his favor. 
His wife has relinquished her suit, and begins to listen to 
the word ; his brother has become silent ; and some few of 
the relatives begin to speak in our favor." 

Women, too, did not shrink from suffering persecution on 
behalf of their newly-found Lord. Describing a baptism, 
Mr. Judson says : 

"We made up a small female party, consisting of Mah See, 
Mah Gatee, and Mah Kyan, all decided and heart}'' in the 
cause, amid a torrent of threatening and abuse. The first is 
the wife of Moung San-lone, second ; but her elder brother, 
and her priest, and other acquaintance are all alive on the 
occasion. The husbands of the other two are both opposers, 
and have threatened their wives with everything bad if they 
enter the new religion. They expect to suffer as soon as 
their husbands hear of the deeds of this day. We feel most 
for Mah Kyan, who has a child at her breast, an only child ; 
and her husband has declared that he will not only turn her 
off, but take the cl^iild away from her, and provide it another 
nurse. After they were baptized, they said that their minds 
were very happy ; come life, come death ; they were disciples 
of the Lord Jesus Christ for life and forever." 

Again, he tells the story of a lady eighty years of age, 
mother-in-law of a petty chief who was one of the bitterest 
opposers : 



" She commenced her inquiries," he writes, " several months 
ago with a great deal of timidity. And though she has ac- 
quired a little courage, and is a person of considerable pres- 
ence, she almost trembles under a sense of the great respon- 
sibility of changing her religion. Such being her character, 
the promptness with which she answered our questions, be- 
fore the church, affected us even to tears. ' How old are 
you, mother?' ' Eighty years.' 'Can you, at such an age, 
renounce the religion that you have followed all your life 
long?* * I see that it is false, and I renounce it all.' ' Why 
do you wish to be baptized into the religion of Jesus Christ ? ' 
' I have very, very many sins ; and I love the Lord, who saves 
from sin.' ' Perhaps your son-in-law, on hearing that you 
have been baptized, will abuse you, and turn you out of 
doors.' ' I have another son-in-law, to whom I will flee.' 
' But he also is an opposer ; suppose that you should meet 
with the same treatment there?' 'You will, I think, let me 
come and live near you.' We made no reply, willing that 
she should prove her sincerity by bearing the brunt alone. 
Her name is Mai Hlah. Behold this venerable woman, sev- 
ering, at her time of life, all the ties which bind her to a 
large circle of connections and friends, hazarding the loss of 
a comfortable, respectable situation, the loss of character, the 
loss of a shelter for her gray head, throwing herself on the 
charity of certain foreigners, and all for the sake of ' the 
Lord who saves from sin.' O, blessed efficacy of the love of 

But not only was the zayat zvork crowned with success ; 
the school work was not less effective. The school of girls 
which had been transplanted from Amherst increased in size 
and efficiency under the superintendence of Mrs. Wade and 
Mrs. Boardman, who not only tau^rht the children, but im- 
parted religious instruction to the Burman women. The 
tireless Boardman also opened a school for boys. Mr. Jud- 
son speaks joyously of an incipient revival in the girls' 
school, " similar to those glorious revivals which distinguish 
our own beloved land." He baptized Mah-ree (Hasseltine) 


about twelve years ago, one of the two Burman girls* whom 
his departed Ann had watched over during his own long 
imprisonment at Ava. 

" Two other girls, younger than those that have been bap- 
tized, appear to have obtained light and hope in Christ, 
' Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings Thou hast per- 
fected praise.' One of them, Mee Youk, about eight years 
old, gives as clear, satisfactory evidence of real conversion 
as any of the older girls. The other, Mee Kway, like our 
departed Mee Shwa3'--ee, was rescued at Amherst from miser- 
able slavery. She has hitherto given us very little pleasure, 
but is now led to see that she has been an uncommonly 
wicked child, and to feel a humble, penitent disposition." 

But even these babes in Christ were not exempt from suf- 
fering persecution. Mee Tan-goung had just been baptized. 
Her eldest sister, after having experienced real and pungent 
convictions of divine truth, had at length been induced by 
her mother's alternate promises and threatenings deliber- 
ately to reject the Saviour. 

" Mee Tan-goung's mother came early," writes Mr. Judson, 
" before any of us were up, and having made her elder 
daughter, Mee Lau, open the door of the school zayat, she 
fell upon her younger daughter, abusing and beating her, 
until, fearing that she should alarm the house, she went off. 
Soon after, however, she came again, and finding her daugh- 
ter outside, she beat her on the head Avith an umbrella, and 
threatened to sell her for a slave. She then went into town, 
and after raising a tumult in the market-place, and declaring 
that her daughter had entered into a religion which pre- 
vented her lying and cheating, so that she was quite lost to 
all purposes of trade, she carried the alarming tale to the 
mothers of the other two girls who were baptized yesterday. 
One of them, the mother of Mee Nen-mah, who has been 
most violent heretofore, came in a rage to Mrs. Wade (brother 

* '* The other, Abby," Mrs. E. C. Judson says in one of her private letters, " died 
young — a most happy, rejoicing death." 



Wade and myself being absent at our zayats), and after using 
as bad language as she dared, she ran down to the school- 
room, seized her daughter by the hair, and dragged her out- 
doors toward a pile of wood, where she would soon have 
armed herself with a weapon, had not Mrs. Wade interfered, 
and rescued the victim ; upon which the mother went off, 
muttering vengeance. The girls bore all this abuse in silent 
submission, and really manifested something of the spirit of 
martyrs. All three are taken into the house for the present, 
lest their infuriated relatives should make an assault upon 
them by night." 

Poor little Mee Aa, who had been baptized, was living 
in great fear. She daily expected her mother from Amherst, 
and knew that she would take her away instantly, and would 
use all the means in her power to make her renounce the 
Christian religion. But Mee Aa was to be pleasantly disap- 
pointed. Instead of being remanded by her mother to the 
shadows of heathenism, she was permitted to lead that 
mother into the light of the Gospel. 

" Soon after that date, Mee Aa came trembling, one morn- 
ing, to Mrs. Wade, with the alarming news that her mother 
had just arrived at the landing-place, with the intention, 
doubtless, of taking her away by force ; and what should she 
do ? She was told to go and meet her mother, and to pray 
as she went. But the poor girl need not have been alarmed. 
She had been incessantly praying for her mother ever since 
she had learned to pray for herself ; and God had heard her 
prayers, and softened her mother's heart. So when she 
heard that her daughter was actually baptized, she only 
made up a queer face, like a person choking, and said, ' It 
was so, was it not ? I hear that some quite die under the 
operation.' This speech we all considered encouraging. 
And, accordingly, she soon settled down among us, drank in 
the truth from her daughter's lips, and then followed her 

But the most pathetic story of all is that of Mee Shway-ee, 


a little child, whom the missionaries rescued from the bar- 
barities of heathenism. They brought her with them from 
Amherst. When they first heard of her she was a slave-girl, 
five years old. Her master was a Moor. He afterward 
turned out to be her own brother, who had formed the dia- 
bolical project of killing her by inches. Mr. Judson got 
possession of the little girl by threatening her master with 
all the penalties of the English law. Her wretched con- 
dition is thus described in Mrs. Wade's journal : 

" Her little body was wasted to a skeleton, and covered from head to 
foot with the marks of a large. rattan, and blows from some sharp-edged 
thing which left a deep scar. Her master in a rage one day caught her 
by the arm, and gave it such a twist as to break the bone, from which 
her sufferings were dreadful. Besides, she had a large and very dreadful 

bum upon her body, recently inflicted She had been tortured so 

long that her naturally smiling countenance was the very picture of grief 

and despair Almost the first words which the poor little sufferer 

said to me were, 'Please to give your slave a little rice, for I am very 
hungry.' She was asked if she had not had her breakfast; to which she 
replied : ' Yes, but I got very little, so that I am hungry all the day long.' " 

The poor little Mee Shway-ee had suffered too much ever 
to recover. She survived her release from her master only 
a few months. She died in the glad triumphs of the Chris- 
tian faith. "I am dying," she said, "but I am not afraid \.o 
die, for Christ will call me up to heaven. He has taken 
away all my sins, and I wish to die now, that I may go and 
see Him." 

Her cruel master received his just deserts. He was thrown 
into prison, where, after waiting trial for several months, he 
was condemned to a further confinement of four years in 
irons, and hard labor on the public works. This dreary 
prospect broke his spirit, and he managed to put an end to 
his wretched life by taking arsenic. 

Mee Shway-ee.* 
" In the tropic land of Burmah, 
^_^ Where the sun grows never old ; 

* By Mr.. E. C. Judson. 


And the regal-brovved Palmyra 

Crowns her head with clouds of gold ; 

On a strange, wild promontory, 
Close beside the rushing sea. 

Listening ever to the billows, 
Dwelt poor little Mee Shway-ee. 

" But along the sandy sea-shore. 

Or amid the foliage green, 
Stringing rows of crimson berries. 

Was the maiden never seen ; 
Never twined she her black tresses 

With the golden mazalee ; 
For a wild and woe-marked slave-child 

Was poor little Mee Shway-ee. 

"And when in the hush of twilight 

Rose a startling eldritch cry, 
Answered by the gray-winged osprey. 

Plunging seaward from the sky ; 
Then the village wives and maidens. 

As they glanced from roof to sea. 
Whispered of a human osprey. 

And poor writhing Mee Shway-ee. 

" But a messenger of Jesus — 

Him who, centuries ago. 
Bared His bosom to the arrow 

Winged by human guilt and woe. 
And then said, ' Go preach my Gospel ! 

Lo ! I'm evermore with thee '; — 
One who served this blessed Jesus, 

Found poor trembling Mee Shway-ee. 

" Found her wan, and scarred, and bleeding, 

Mad with agony and sin ; 
So love's arms were opened widely. 

And the sufferer folded in ; 
Tender fingers soothed and nursed her, 

And 'twas wonderful to see 
How the winning glance of pity 

Tamed the elf-child. Mee Shway-ee. 




" For, beneath those drooping eyelids 

Shone a human spirit now. 
And the light of thought came playing 

Softly over lip and brow ; 
But her little footstep faltered, — 

Beamed her eye more lovingly, — 
And 'twas known that death stood claiming 

Gentle, trusting Mee Shway-ee. 

" But to her he came an angel. 

Throned in clouds of rosy light ; 
Came to bear her to that Saviour 

Who had broke her weary night ; 
And with smiles she sought his bosom ; 

So, beside the rushing sea, 
'Neath the weeping casuarina, 

Laid they little Mee Shway-ee." 

But amid the cares and toils of beginning a missionary 
enterprise" in Maulmain, Mr. Judson did not remit his Hter- 
ary labors. The odd moments of time left from sajat zvork 
and school work were filled with the work of tra?islation. 
Even before leaving Amherst he had embarked upon the 
prodigious task of translating the Old Testament into Bur- 
mese. He had begun with the Psalms. After the death 
of his wife and child his sorrowful heart instinctively turned 
for consolation to " the prayers of David the son of Jesse." 
He had hardly been in Maulmain two years when he makes 
this record in his journal : 

- "November 29, 1829. Since my last, we have finished revis- 
ing the New Testament and the Epitome of the Old — a work 
in which we have been closely engaged for above a year. 
We have also prepared for the press several smaller works, 
viz. : 

" I. The Catechism of Religion. This has already passed 
through two editions in Burmese. It has also been trans- 
lated and printed into Siamese, and translated into Taling 
or Peguan. 

" 2. The View of the Christian Religion, thoroughly re- 



vised for a fourth edition in Burmese. It has also been 
translated into Taling and Siamese. 

" 3. The Liturgy of the Burman Church. 

" 4. The Baptismal Service. 

" 5. The Marriage Service. 

" 6. The Funeral Service ; the last three consisting chiefly 
of extracts from Scripture. 

" 7. The Teacher's Guide ; or, a Digest of those parts of 
the New Testament which relate to the Duty of Teachers of 
Religion, designed particularly for Native Pastors. 

" 8. A Catechism of Astronomy. 

" 9. A Catechism of Geography. 

" 10. A Table of Chronological History ; or a Register of 
principal Events from the Creation to the present Time. 

" II. The Memoir of Mee Shway-ee. 

" 12. The Golden Balance ; or, the Christian and Buddhist 
Systems Contrasted. This has been translated into Taling. 

" The Gospel of St. Matthew was also translated into 
Siamese by Mrs. Judson, and is now being translated into 
Taling by Ko Man-poke, our assistant in that department." 

While thus absorbed in the work of preaching and teach- 
ing and translating at Maulmain, he was not forgetful of the 
smouldering camp-fires he had left behind him at Rangoon 
and Amherst. At Rangoon especially, where he had first 
unfurled the banner of the Christ, and whence he had been 
rudely driven by the intolerant spirit of the king of Ava, a 
native church was speedily reorganized under a Burman 
pastor, Ko Thah-a. It seems that this man was one of the 
original Rangoon converts. 

"At the close of the war," according to Mr. Judson's narra- 
tive, "he spent a few months at a large village in the neigh- 
borhood of Shwa-doung, and there, devoting himself to the 
preaching of the word, he produced a very considerable ex- 
citement. Several professed to believe in the Christian 
religion ; and three of the most promising received baptism 
at his hands. Some others requested the same favor ; but 


he became alarmed at his own temerity, and declined their 
repeated applications. The villagers, in time, returned to 
the vicinity of Rangoon, whence they had fled at the com- 
mencement of the war. He also returned to Rangoon, his 
former residence, and continued to disseminate the truth, 
but in a more cautious and covert manner." 

Ko Thah-a visited Mr. Judson at Maulmain in order to 
be instructed as to what he should do with those whom he 
had persuaded to accept of Christ, and who wished to be 
baptized. It was thought best to ordain him as pastor of 
the church in Rangoon. 

What a stubborn vitality there is in that seminal divine 
idea, a local church ! Mr. and Mrs. Judson formed such a 
church, when, in 1813, they made their home at the mouth 
of the Irrawaddy, and all by themselves shared in that Holy 
Supper which was instituted to commemorate the Saviour's 
dying love. The church of two slowly grew into a church 
of twenty. Then came the war, and the long imprisonment 
of the pastor at Ava. The church was hewed to the 
ground. Only four members could be found, and these 
were transplanted to Amherst. More than two years later 
Ko Thah-a, who had been lost sight of in the interior of 
the country, makes his appearance in Maulmain. He has 
all along been secretly preaching the good news, and now 
he wants to go back to Rangoon and baptize the converts 
whom he has won. Out of the stump of the tree cut down 
there springs a shoot which has bloomed and flourished even 
to the present time. The Rangoon mission of j88i em- 
braces eighty-nine churches and thirty-seven hundred mem- 
bers. " There shall be a handful of corn in the earth upon 
the top of the mountains ; the fruit thereof shall shake 
like Lebanon." 

Ko Thah-a, the first Christian pastor among the Bur- 
mans, proved to be an able minister. Of him Mr. Judson 
wrote : 

" His age (fitty-seven), his steadiness and weight of char- 



acter, his attainments in Burman literature, which, though 
not, perhaps, necessary, seem desirable in one who is taking 
up arms against the religion of his country, and his humble 
devotedness to the sacred work, all conspire to make us 
acquiesce with readiness and gratitude in the divine apooint- 
ment." ' 

Again and again he sent to Maulmain the cheering news 
of conversions and baptisms; and'when, a year and a half 
after his ordination, Mr. Judson visited him at Rangoon 
and invited him to go on a missionary tour up the country, 
he declined, " on account of having so many irons in the 
fire " — that is, hopeful inquirers — that he must stay to bring 
forward and baptize. And Mr. Judson adds, " He is as 
solicitous and busy as a hen pressing about her chickens. 
It is quite refreshing to hear him talk on the subject, and 
see what a nice, careful old shepherd he makes. The Lord 
bless his soul and the souls of his flock ! " 

Neither did Mr. Judson forget the deserted mission-field 
at Amherst, where lay the precious dust of his wife and 
child. Like the Apostle Paul, he felt the deepest solicitude 
for the spiritual welfare of the converts whom he had left 
along the track behind him. Moung Ing was ordained and 
sent to be pastor of the disciples at Amherst. 

" The church," Mr. Judson writes, " consisted of three — • 
Mah Loon-byay, who was baptized while we lived there, and 
has never left the place ; Mah Kai, and her daughter, Mee 
A, who have lately moved thither. To these are now added 
pastor Moung Ing and his wife, Mah Lan. May the five 
become five hundred. May the seed formerly sown in weak- 
ness and tears yet spring up and bear fruit. May the last 
efforts of the one we have lost, whose setting rays sunk in 
death beneath the hope-tree, prove not to have been in vain ; 
and may the prayers which ascended from her dying bed be 
yet heard and answered in blessings upon Amherst." 

Moung Ing, however, though diligent and faithful, and 


extremely desirous of doing good, seems to have proved 
rather a failure as a minister. The prospects at Amherst 
darkened ; and Mr. Judson sadly wrote : 

" Moung Ing has had no success at alL though he has not 
been wanting in diligence and faithfulness. At length we 
advised him to remove to Tavoy. He, however, preferred 
Rangoon, and is now co-operating with Ko Thah-a. His 
wife remained behind. _ Her conduct has been very excep- 
tionable since her baptism, and soon after her husband's de- 
parture she became openly vicious. She is now suspended 
from communion — the first case of church discipline that has 
occurred among the native members." 

One feels his heart drawn out toward the poor fisherman, 
Moung Ing, one of the xexv earliest Burman converts, Mrs. 
Judson's only dependence at Ava and Oung-pen-la — the 
first bearer of the Gospel to the Tavo\-ans, and yet a man 
whose mission in this world, in spite of zeal, fidelity, and 
untiring industry, seemed to be ever to fail. In a subse- 
quent letter of Mr. Judson's, thrre occurs a pathetic ac- 
count of his death. His humilitv' and disinterestedness 
shone forth with a steady ray even in his latest hours. 

" During the last year of his life, Ko Ing was supported 
from the donations of Mr. Colgate, of New York. But at the 
close of October, 1833, he wrote that, on account of his un- 
worthiness and want of success, he declined receiving any 
further allowance ; that his wife — of whose conversion he 
had been the means — was able, by keeping a small shop, to 
support the family ; but that he intended, however, to devote 
himself the same as before to the work to which he had been 
called. Accordingly, the same letter reports his labors and 
states his plans for future operations. Such communications 
he continued to make till his death. In order, however, to 
square our accounts, we requested him to receive the usual 
allowance for the remaining two months of that year. He 
did so,' and in acknowledging the receipt of the money, said 
that he regarded it as a special g^ft from heaven. We then 


determined that, though he declined an}'- stated allowance, 
*ve would occasionally make him presents ; and brother Mason 
has sent him money two or three times, amounting, I believe, 
to about one-third of his usual allowance. The following is 
an extract from the letter of a pious sergeant in the detacJi- 
ment stationed at Mergui, dated December 7, 1834 : 

" 'I was with Ko Ing several times during his illness, and 
commonlv took an interpreter with me ; but on account of 
his extreme weakness and deafness, I could say but little to 
him. Being anxious, however, to know his experience. 1 
asked him a few questions, as follows : Q. Do you wish to 
die or not ? Am. I wish to die, if it is the will of God. Q. 
Why do yo\x wish to die ? Ans. I shall go to heaven and be 
happy. Q. How do 3'^ou know that you shall go to heaven ? 
Am. I have read in the word of God that those who serve 
Him will go there, and my own breast tells me of it (placing 
his hand on his breast and looking up). Q. How have you 
served God ? Am. By forsaking my wicked ways, and prav- 
ing to Him for forgiveness. Q. Do j'^ou think all this will 
take you to heaven ? Am. Jesus Christ came down from 
above, and died for sinners ; and those that are sorry for and 
forsake their sins shall be saved, because Christ died for 
them. Q. You don't think, then, that your works and your 
own goodness will take you to heaven ? Am. No. All my 
works are but filthy rags. He was so much exhausted that I 
asked him no more questions. I think I told you in a former 
letter that he had his coffin made some days before his 
death ; that our lads carried him to the grave ; and I read 
the funeral ser\-ice over him.' " 

But the time had now come when this little company of 
missionaries at Maulmain had to be broken up. Judson. 
Boardman, and Wade — an illustrious triumvirate — could not 
long expect to work together in the same place. This 
would be too great a concentration of forces at one point. 
The Gospel light must be more widely dispersed through 
the thick gloom of Paganism. The Boardmans were the 
first to go, though the parting with their missionary asso- 

344 '^'^'^ ^^^'^ ^^ ADONIRAM yUDSOh^ 

ciates was attended with the keenest suffering. Besides, 
they had originated the mission at Mauhnain, and it was at 
a peculiar sacrifice that they pressed into the regions be- 
yond. They chose Tavoy as their field of work. Tt seemed 
out of the question to assail Burmah proper ; and on the 
long coast of the ceded provinces, Amherst having dwindled 
into insignificance, Tavoy was the only important point 
within a hundred and fifty miles. If they went to Arracan, 
British territory situated on the other side of Burmah 
proper,* they would be too far away to meet with the other 
missionaries for such occasional consultation and concert of 
prayer as seemed advisable to the Board at home. Accord- 
ingly, on the 2gth of March, 1828, when the missionaries had 
experienced for only seven months the joy of laboring to- 
gether in Maulmain, Mr. and Mrs. Boardman with their 
little family set sail for Tavoy. They were accompanied by 
a young Siamese convert, MoungShway-pwen, by a Karen, 
Ko Thah-byoo — subsequently the renowned apostle to the 
Karens — and by four of the native school-boys. With this 
little group of disciples, Mr. Boardman began that brief and 
heroic campaign among the Karens which has made his 
name so illustrious in the annals of missions. 

On the 15th of December, 1829, Mr. Judson received 
news of the death at Washington of his brother Elnathan, 
with whom he had prayed so many years before by the 
roadside on his way from Plymouth to Boston.f The letter 
that brought him these sad tidings assured him also that 
the wayside prayer had been answered. He wrote the fol- 
lowing letter of comfort to his distant sister: 

"Maulmain, December ■zi, 1829. 

"I have just received yours of May 25 last, giving an ac- 
count of Elnathan's death, and also Dr. Sewall's detail of 
his dying exercises. Perhaps you have not seen Dr. Sewall's 
letter. It closes thus : ' A few hours before his death, and 
when he was so low as to be unable to converse or to move, 

* See Map 11. t See page 35. 



he suddenly raised himself up, and clasping his hands, with 
an expression of joy in his countenance, cried, "Peace, 
peace!" and then he sunk down, without the power of 
utterance. About ten minutes before he expired, it was 
said to him, "If you feel the peace of God in your 
soul, open your eyes." He opened his eyes, and soon 
after expired, and, as we believe, in the triumphs 
of faith.' When I read this account, I went into my 
little room, and could only shed tears of joy, my heart full 
of gratitude and my tongue of praise. I have felt most 
anxious about him for a long time ; to hear at last that there 
is some good reason to conclude that he has gone to heaven 
is enough. So we are dying, one after another. We shall 
all be there, I trust, before long. I send you and mother a 
little tract, which I beg you will study prayerfully. Let me 
urge you frequently to re-examine the foundation of your 
hope. O, it is a solemn thing to die — an awful thing to go 
into eternity, and discover that we have been deceiving our- 
selves ! Let u> depend upon it that nothing but real faith in 
Christ, proved to be genuine by a holy life, can support us at last. 
That faith which consists merely in a correct belief of the 
doctrines of grace, and prompts to no self-denial, — that faith 
which allows us to spend all our days in serving self, content 
with merely refraining from outward sins, and attending to 
the ordinary duties of religion, — is no faith at all. O, let me 
beg of you to look well into this matter ! And let me beg 
my dear mother, in her old age, and in view of the near ap- 
proach of death and eternity, to examine again and again 
whether her faith is of the right kind. Is it that faith which 
gives her more enjoyment in Jesus, from day to day, than she 
finds in anything else? 

" May God bless you both, is the fervent prayer of your 
affectionate brother." 

On the arrival at Maulmain of two new missionaries, the 
printer, Mr. Cephas Bennett, and his wife, it seemed best 
that the policy of dispersion should be still more rigorously 
pursued. Mr. Judson never approved of the huddling of 


missionaries together at any one station. A few years later 
he wrote : 

" Formerly, having spent many years alone, I felt desirous 
of missionary society, and was disposed to encourage a few 
to stay together, not doubting but that we should all find 
enough to do. But I have now learned that one missionary 
standing by himself, feeling his individual responsibility, and 
forced to put forth all his efforts, is worth half a dozen cooped 
up in one place, while there are unoccupied stations in all 
directions, and whole districts, of thousands and hundreds 
of thousands, perishing in the darkness of heathenism. You 
will perhaps wonder that I am frequently writing in this 
strain. But when I think of seven families, — eight when the 

s are here, which will probably be every rainy season, — 

my spirit groans within me. I feel that I can not spend my 
time to better purpose than in endeavoring to effect some 
change in our present arrangements. I can truly say that 
all the real missionary work done by all the sisters at this 
station, from day to day, might and would be done by any 
two of them, if left to themselves ; and this not because they 
are disposed to indolence or self-indulgence, but simply be- 
cause there are so many together. Place any one of them 
in a station by herself, with her husband, and she would be- 
come a new creature." 

He also believed in multiplying the centres of light. It 
might be well for a new missionary upon his first arrival to 
be kept in training at some long-established post in asso- 
ciation with experienced laborers, but then his ultimate aim 
should be to plunge alone into the thicket of heathenisni. 

Besides, the time had now come to make a new attempt 
to enter Burmah proper. Accordingly on February 21, 
1830, Mr. and Mrs. Wade removed to Rangoon, Mr. Jud- 
son's old field, where the newly-ordained Moung Thah-a 
and Moung Ing were laboring. The pain of parting was 
alleviated by the hope which Mr. Judson cherished of join- 
ing them again at Rangoon, with the purpose of once more 



penetrating the valley of the Irrawaddy in the direction of 
Ava. In a confidential letter, written to the Corresponding 
Secretary two years and a half before, he had thus described 
the four beloved coadjutors from whom it was now his 
duty to be separated : 

" Brother Wade is a steady, correct, judicious, persevering, 
heavenly-minded man. He is much better than he seems on 
first appearance or a slight acquaintance. I have learned 
that his advice is safe, and I confide in his judgment more 
than my own. He is getting a thorough knowledge of the 
language, and both he and Mrs. Wade speak it very well. 
In regard to Mrs. Wade I can truly say, that among all my 
living acquaintances I do not know a single woman who is 
superior to her in sterling excellence of missionary charac- 
ter. Brother and sister Boardman I am not much acquainted 
with, and am unable to delineate their distinguishing charac- 
teristics. He appears to have a mind well disciplined and 
readily stirred. She is a truly lovely and estimable woman. 
Of all the four, I know not which I esteem most. The Wades 
I love most because I know them best." 

But Mr. Judson could not remain content at Maulmain. 
He was not satisfied with founding two or three missions 
on the outermost edge of British Burmah. He longed to 
penetrate Burmah proper again, and establish a line of mis- 
sion stations in the Irrawaddy valley, that arterial channel 
through which the tide of Burmese population surged. Mr. 
Wade had gone before simply as an avant coureur. His go- 
ing to Rangoon was only a part of a more general move- 
ment. Leaving Maulmain in charge of Mr. Boardman, who 
had been temporarily recalled from Tavoy, Mr. Judson 
parted with him and the new-comers, Mr. and Mrs. Ben- 
nett, on April 26, 1830, and set sail for Rangoon, where he 
arrived six days later. Before leaving Maulmain, he writes 
in his journal : 

"Our re-entering Burmah is an experiment which we are 
making with fear and trembling. Accounts from brother 


and sister Wade are rather encouraging. They both give it 
as their decided opinion that I ought to join them immedi- 
ately ; not merely with a view to Rangoon, but to the neigh- 
boring towns, and to all that are afar off, even as many as 
the Lord our God shall render accessible." 

He spent only a few days with Mr. Wade in Rangoon. 
Then, in the company of five native disciples, he proceeded 
by boat to Prome, an ancient city situated on the Irrawaddy 
about one hundred and seventy miles from the mouth. He 
writes from Rangoon : 

" Every day deepens the conviction in my mind that I am 
not in the place where God would have me be. It was to the 
interior, and not to Rangoon, that my mind was turned long 
before I left Maulmain ; and while I feel that brother and 
sister Wade are in the right place, I feel that I am called 
elsewhere. Under these impressions, I am about proceeding 
up the river, accompanied by Moung Ing, Moung En, Moung 
Dway, Moung Dan, baptized April 4, and little Moung Like, 
mentioned April 18, not yet baptized. The boat on which 
we embark will take us to Prome, the great half-way place 
between this and Ava, and there I hope and pray that the 
Lord will show us what to do." 

This brave effort, however, to plant Christianity at Prome, 
in the very interior of the Burman empire, the half-way 
place between Rangoon and Ava, proved a complete failure. 
Mr. Judson preached the Gospel and distributed tracts all 
the way up the river, and for three months he and his dis- 
ciples labored faithfully in Prome. He occupied daily an 
old tumble-down zayat at the foot of the great pagoda, 
Shway Landau, and thousands heard the Gospel from his 
lips. But suddenly the zayat was deserted. He met with 
cold and rude treatment in the streets. The dogs were 
allowed to bark at him unmolested. It was rumored that 
the king at Ava was displeased that the Burman religion 
should be assailed in the very heart of his empire, and that 



he had given orders that Mr, Judson should be required to 
depart from Burmah. It subsequently transpired that the 
king himself was, in reality, kindly disposed toward Mr. 
Judson. He had inquired some time before where Mr. 
Judson was, and when told that he was in Maulmain, he 
said : " Why does he not come here ? He is a good man 
and would, if he were here, teach and discipline my minis- 
ters and make better men of them." The ejection of Mr. 
Judson from Burmah was a trick on the part of these very 
prime ministers. They hated all foreign intrusion, and 
represented to Major Burney, the English ambassador at 
Ava, that the king was very much displeased with Mr. Jud- 
son's attempt to introduce Christianity into the empire. 
Major Burney writes : 

"Ava, Septejiiber i, 1830. 

" The ministers requested my advice as to the measures 
which they ought to pursue with respect to Dr. Judson, who, 
they said, is come up to Prome, and is there distributing 
tracts among the inhabitants, and abusing the Burmese re- 
ligion, much to the annoyance of the king. I told them that 
Dr. Judson is now exclusively devoted to missionary pur- 
suits ; that I possess no power or authority over him, but that 
I know him to be a very pious and good man, and one not 
likely to injure the Burmese king or Government in any 
manner. The ministers replied that the king is much vexed 
with Dr. Judson for the zeal with which he is distributing 
among the people writings in which the Burmese faith is 
held forth to contempt, and that his majesty is anxious to 
remove him from Prome. I said that the Burmese king and 
Government have always enjoyed a high reputation among 
civilized nations for the toleration which they have shown to 
all religious faiths ; that there are thousands, in Europe and 
America, who would be much hurt and disappointed to hear 
of any change in the liberal policy hitherto observed by the 
king of Ava, and that I hope the ministers would not think 
of molesting or injuring Dr. Judson, as such a proceeding 
would offend and displease good men of all nations. They 


replied that it was for this reason, to avoid hurting Dr. Jud- 
son, that they had consulted me ; and they propose that 1 
should write and advise Dr. Judson of the king's sentiments 
toward him. I reiterated my assurances that Dr. Judson is in 
no way connected with me or my Government, and that I can 
issue no orders to him ; and I begged the ministers to leave 
him alone, which, however, they said they could not, as his 
majesty had expressed himself much displeased with his con- 
duct. I consented at last to write to Dr. Judson, but I told 
the ministers to recollect that I had no right to interfere with 
him, who would, notwithstanding any letter he might receive 
from me, act in whatever manner his own judgment and con- 
science might dictate. The ministers begged of me only to 
recommend Dr. Judson to return to Rangoon, and confine 
his missionary labors within that city." 

And so Mr. Judson was forced sadly and reluctantly to 
abandon his project of carrying the Gospel into Central 
Burmah. The thrilling narrative of his experiences in 
Prome and of his return to Rangoon is best told in his own 
words : 

To the Missionaries at Rangoon and Maulmain. 

" Prome, June 26, 1830. 

" Dear Brethren and Sisters : To-day I have taken pos- 
session of the old zayat allowed me by Government. Part of 
it we have inclosed in rooms, and the other part we have left 
open for the reception of company. Several people accosted 
us as they passed. ' So you have moved, have you ? We 
shall come and see you before long.' There are at present 
no hopeful inquirers ; but some visitors from Men-dai and 
Men-yoo-ah approximate toward that character. 

''/tily 2. A great change has taken place in the minds of 
Government people toward me. Satan has industriously cir- 
culated a report that I am a spy in pay of the British. Last 
night the deputy governor sent to inquire my name and title. 
This morning I waited on him, and on the lady governess, 
but met with a very cold reception at both places. The 
deputy governor is probably reporting me to Ava, and what 



the consequences will be I know not. Several visitors, who 
began to listen with some favorable disposition, have sud- 
denly fallen off. To-day I have had no company at all. 

'^July 3. Pastor Ing returned from a visit to Men-yoo-ah. 
He says that the same suspicion is spreading all over the 
country. Even the women mentioned in my last were afraid 
to have any communication with him. By forcing his way, 
he managed to sleep two nights at the house of the Toung- 
dwen teacher, and had some conversation with him and his 
people on the subject of religion. But the teacher, though 
not a regular Buddhist, feels his consequence, as the head of 
a sect, and is perhaps as far from candid consideration as the 
most bigoted priest. Pastor Ing says that the country is full 
of villages, and there is some disposition to listen to religlcn, 
but that in the present state of the public mind, if I should 
make the tour of those parts, as I had some intention of 
doing, there is not a house where the owner would dare to 
ask me to sit down at the entrance of the door. 

" Feel extremely dejected this evening. Never so heartily 
willing to enter into my rest, yet willing to offer, and I do, 
with some peculiar feelings, offer, my poor. life to the Lord 
Jesus Christ, to do and to suffer whatever He shall appoint, 
during my few remaining days. My followers feel some 
courage yet ; for they have, I hope, a little faith, and they 
know, also, that whatever storm comes, it will beat upon 
their teacher first, 

'''' July 4, Lord's day. Another Burman day of worship, and 
a great day, being the first day of Lent, a season which con- 
tinues three months. After usual worship, took a stroll 
through the place. All smiles and looks of welcome are 
passed away ; people view me with an evil eye, and suffer 
their dogs to bark at me unchecked. Near Shway San-dau, 
the zayats were crowded with devout-faced worshippers. I 
found a vacant place under a shed built over a large brick 
idol, and, sitting down on the ground, I held converse with 
small parties, who came around in succession. Some com- 
pany, also, morning and evening, at home. I can not but 
hope that two persons have this day obtained some discovery 


of the way of salvation through a crucified Saviour. But it 
is really affecting to see a poor native when he first feels the 
pinch of truth. On one side he sees hell ; on the other side, 
ridicule, reproach, confiscation of goods, imprisonment, and 

''^ July 7. Moung A, one of the persons last mentioned, 
comes every day. He seems to be quite taken with the 
Christian religion, but says he can not think of embracing it 
until the learned and the great lead the way. 

''''July 8. Many visitors through the day, in consequence 
of a festival held in the vicinity. Moung A begins to speak 
decidedly for Christ. 

"July 9. Having agreed that two or three of our number 
shall go out every day, in different directions, and preach the 
Gospel, whether the people will hear or forbear, my lot fell 
in a public zayal, about a mile from home, near Shway San- 
dau, where I had an uninterrupted succession of hearers from 
morning till night. Pastor Ing and Moung Dway were suc- 
cess(ully engaged in another quarter, and Moung En had 
some company at home. I presume that a hundred and fifty 
people have this day heard the Gospel intelligibly, who never 
lieard it before. 

'■'■July 10. The same as yesterday, except that, being ill, I 
left the zayat about noon. Moung A was with me in the 
afternoon. His case is becoming extremely interesting. He 
is a bright young man, with a small family, formerly be- 
longed to Caesar's household, and bore a considerable title, 
which was forfeited through false accusation. He began 
last night to pray to the eternal God. 

"■July II. Lord's day. Several came in during worship, 
and behaved decently, though they would not put themselves 
into a devotional posture, or join in the responses. One 
man, in particular, professed to be excessively delighted with 
the new and wonderful things which he heard. Moung A 
present at evening worship, but he remains in a very critical 
state. No wine to be procured in this place, on which ac- 
count we are unable to unite with the other churches, this 
day, in partaking of the Lord's supper. 



'■'■July 12. A Burman day of worship. In the morning, 
received private information that the deputy governor, as I 
conjectured, did actually report me to Ava. If any order be 
given immediately, whether favorable or unfavorable, it may 
be expected in the course of a fortnight. Felt rather de- 
jected, but endeavored to put my trust in God, and resolve 
to work while the day lasts. The zayats being all full of 
worshippers, I took my seat on a brick under the shed over 
the great idol, and, from morning till night, crowd succeeded 
crowd. Some became outrageously angry, and some listened 
with delight. Some said, 'He is a good man'; but others 
said, 'Nay, he deceiveth the people.' About noon, heard 
Moung Dway's voice on the other side of the idol. Pastor 
Ing was busy in another quarter. At home, Moung En re- 
ceived a visit from Myat-pyoo, one of the two persons men- 
tioned on the 4th. He is sixty-nine years old, a little deaf, 
very timid and retiring. My expectations of him are not 
disappointed. He says that he thinks this is the true relig- 
ion, and the only one that provides a way of escape from 
hell, of which he is exceedingly afraid, in consequence of his 
many, many sins. 

"■July 13. Took up my position at my favorite zayat. It 
stands at the crossing of two great roads, the one leading 
from the river-side to Shway San-dau, and the other from 
the town to the place of burying, or rather burning, the dead. 
Several funeral processions pass every day, and many of the 
followers, in going or returning, stop at my zayat to rest. 
To-day there was a funeral of distinction, and all the officers 
of Government, with their respective suites, attended. In 
consequence of this, the crowd around me was greater than 
ever before. But they were not hearers of the right stamp. 
Most of them, being adherents of Government, were rude, 
insolent, and wicked in the extreme. A few considerate per- 
sons remained till night, particularly one man, on whose ac- 
count I also remained, though dreadfully exhausted. He 
has been with me two days, and I have a little hope that he 
begins to feel the force of truth. 

"y?//v 14. Another day of hard conflict. The enemy be- 


354 ^^^^ ^'^P'^ 0^ ADONIRAM JUDSON. 

gins to be alarmed, and his forces come on fresh and fierce, 
while we, few in number, have to sustain the combat without 
any human reinforcement. The spirit is willing, but the 
desh is weak. At night, felt an entire prostration of strength, 
so much so that I was unable to go through with the evening 
service as usual." 

To the same. 

" Prome, August 23, 1830. 

"Dear Brethren and Sisters: Tired of minuting down 
the events of each day, I have written nothing since my last 
date, July 16. My time has been spent in the same way as 
stated in the first part of that month. At one period the 
whole town seemed to be roused to listen to the news of an 
eternal God, the mission of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, 
and the way of salvation through His atonement. A con- 
siderable proportion of the hearers became favorably dis- 
posed. At length the enemy assumed a threatening aspect ; 
the poor people became frightened ; many sent back the 
tracts they had received ; and there was a general falling off 
at the zayats. I was summoned to undergo a long examina- 
tion at the court-house, not, however, on the subject of re- 
ligion, but concerning all my past life since I have been in 
Burmah. The result was forwarded to Ava. The magis- 
trates still preserve a perfect neutrality, in consequence of 
the absence of the governor. At Ava I have been regarded 
as a suspicious character ever since I deserted them at the 
close of the war, and went over to the British. I know not 
what impressions the governor of this place will there receive, 
or how he will feel toward me when he is informed of the 
noise I have made in Prome during his absence. 

"On hearing of the declining health of brother Boardman, 
and brother Wade's intention of leaving Rangoon for Maul- 
main, I had some thoughts of returning immediately to Ran- 
goon. But, on further consideration and prayer, I feel that 
I must work while the day lasts at Prome. I have some 
company at the zayats every day, and crowds on days of wor- 
ship. Most of the hearers are opposers ; but I observe in 
distant corners those who listen with eagerness. There are 



five persons who have, I trust, obtained a little grace ; but 
in the present dark time, they give no satisfactory evidence. 
" August T,o. Since my last letters from Rangoon, I think 
continually of brother Boardman, and the great loss we are 
threatened with. May the Lord direct and support him and 
our dear sister." 

Letter to the Missionaries at Rangoon and Mauhnain, a?id the Corresponding 
Secretary iti Boston, U. S. 

" Below Prome, September i8, 1830. 

"Afloat on my own little boat, manned by none other than 
my three disciples, I take leave of Prome and her towering 
god Shway Lan-dau, at whose base I have been laboring, 
with not the kindest intentions, for the last three months and 
a half. Too firmly founded art thou, old pile, to be over- 
thrown just at present ; but the children of those who now 
plaster thee with gold will yet pull thee down, nor leave one 
brick upon another. 

"The Government writer, Moung Ky wet-nee, who recom- 
menced visiting us a few days ago, has been hanging about 
us for two hours, lamenting our departure ; and he is now 
sitting alone at the water's edge, looking after our boat as it 
floats down the stream. ' Mark me as your disciple ; I pray 
to God every day ; do you also pray for me ; as soon as I can 
get free from my present engagements, I intend to come 
down to Rangoon,' are some of his last expressions. 

"The sun is just setting. We could not get our boat ready 
earlier in the day ; and, as it is Saturday evening, we intend 
to proceed as far as Men-dai, in order to spend the Lord's 
day there. There is no period of my missionary life that I 
review with more satisfaction, or, rather, with less dissatis- 
faction, than my sojourn in Prome. This city was founded 
several hundred years before the Christian era. Through 
how many ages have the successive generations of its dark 
inhabitants lived and died, without the slightest knowledge 
of the Great Eternal, and the only way of salvation which 
He has provided ! At length, in the year 1830, it was ordered 
that a missionary of the cross should sit down in the heart 


of the city, and from day to day, for above three months 
should pour forth divine truth in language which, if not elo- 
quent and acceptable, was at least intelligible to all ranks. 
What a wonderful phenomenon must this have been to celes- 
tial beings, who gaze upon the works and dispensations of 
God in this lower world ! It was necessary to the accom- 
plishment of the divine purpose, that, after so many centu- 
ries of darkness, there should be such an exhibition of light 
as has been made, and no more. Thousands have heard of 
God who never, nor their ancestors, heard before. Frequently, 
in passing through the streets, and in taking my seat in the 
zayats, I have felt such a solemnity and awe on my spirits as 
almost prevented me from opening my lips to communicate 
the momentous message with which I was charged. How 
the preacher has preached, and how the hearers have heard, 
the day of judgment will show. Oh, how many will find 
their everlasting chains more tight and intolerable on ac- 
count of the very warnings and entreaties they have received 
from my lips ! But what more can be done than has been done ? 
Though warned and entreated, they have wilfully, obstinately, 
and blasphemously refused to listen. But, blessed be God, 
there are some whose faces I expect to see at the right hand 
of the great Judge. The young man just mentioned, the 
carpenter, Moung Shway-hlah, a poor man, by name Moung 
Oo, in addition to some others mentioned in former letters, 
give us reason to hope that they have received the truth in 
good and honest hearts. Many also there are who have be- 
come so far enlightened that I am sure they never can bow 
the knee to Shway Lan-dau, without a distressing conviction 
that they are in the wrong way. Farewell to thee, Prome ! 
Willingly would I have spent my last breath in thee and for 
thee. But thy sons ask me not to stay ; and I must preach 
the Gospel to other cities also, for therefore am I sent. Read 
the five hundred tracts that I have left with thee. Pray to 
the God and Saviour that I have told thee of. And if here- 
after thou call me, though in the lowest whisper, and it 
reach me in the very extremities of the empire, I will joyfully 
listen, and come back to thee." 



" Men-dai, September 19. 

" Spent the day in the zayat which I formerly occupied. 
The crowds were very noisy, but some listened with attention. 
Distributed nearly a hundred tracts. Mai Goo came from 
her village with two other women, one of whom appears to 
have grace. But Mah Wen-yo and Mah Ping were not sea- 
sonably apprised of our arrival. Just at night, dropped down 
to a small village below Men-dai, that we might have a little 
evening worship by ourselves." 

" Near Rangoon, Septe?nber 24, 

" We have distributed four hundred tracts between this 
and Men-dai, having touched at many of the principal places 
and spent an hour or two, or a night, as we could make it 
convenient. We should have stopped oftener and stayed 
longer had not our stock of tracts become exhausted. My 
people, also, began to be impatient at the restless nights we 
were obliged to spend, on account of the insufferable annoy 
ance of mosquitoes on the banks of the river in the lowei 
country at this season of the year. 

'■'^September 25. Came in sight of my old acquaintance, 
Shway Da-gong ; landed once more in Rangoon ; found let- 
ters from Maulmain, saying that brother Boardman is con- 
siderably better, for which I desire to thank God ; repaired 
to the house lately occupied by brother Wade. Since his de- 
parture, I find that some efforts have been made to check the 
progress of religious inquiry. At one time men were sta- 
tioned at a little distance, on each side of the house, to 
threaten those who visited the place, and take away the tracts 
they had received. Reports were circulated that Govern- 
ment was about to make a public example of heretics ; the 
crowds that used to come for tracts all disappeared, and 
Pastor Thah-a, who continued to occupy the house, became 
intimidated, and retreated to his own obscure dwelling. 
Things are, therefore, at a very low ebb ; but we trust in 
God that the tide will flow again in its own appointed time." 

^^ October 8. Have just received intelligence that about the 
ist of September the king issued an order that I should be 
removed from Prome, 'being exceedingly annoyed that I was 


there, in the interior of the country, distributing papers, and 
abusing the Burmese religion.' The woon-gyees, being un- 
willing to proceed to extremities, made application to Major 
Burney, the British resident at Ava, who assured them that 
he had no control over me ; that I was in no way connected 
with the British Government, but employed exclusively in 
the duties of my profession ; and he begged them not to pro- 
ceed to adopt a measure which would be condemned as in- 
tolerant by good men of all countries. They said, however, 
that his majesty's order was peremptory, and that it was 
necessary for me to confine my labors within the limits of 
Rangoon. Major Burney then consented to write me on the 

Although Mr. Judson was foiled in this effort to carry the 
Gospel into the interior of Burmah, yet he did not with- 
draw immediately to Maulmain, but remained for almost a 
year laboring at Rangoon, situated just within the gate of 
the empire. He retreated only step by step from before 
Burman intolerance, disputing every inch of the ground. 

Just at this time the whole land seemed peculiarly per- 
vaded by a spirit of religious thirst. Everybody was curious 
to know about this new religion. The people seemed to 
catch eagerly at every scrap of information relating to Chris- 
tianity. The ears of the heathen, to use their own vivid 
expression, had become thinner. Mr. Judson's house was 
thronged with inquirers. While he was not permitted in 
person to preach in the interior of the country, yet in Ran- 
goon he freely distributed tracts, and translations of the 
Scriptures, which sped on their way far up the Irrawaddy 
toward Ava. He thought it wise to take advantage of this 
flood-tide of eager curiosity. A nation has its moods as 
well as an individual. Wasteful indolence might indeed 
substitute the lavish and indiscriminate use of printer's ink 
for the personal preaching of the Gospel by the living voice. 
But, carefully watching the pulse of Burman life, he believed 
that at last the time had come when the printed page might 


be made a mighty engine for good, and could not be too 
freely used. Hence, to Mr. Bennett, the printer, and to the 
other missionaries at Maulmain, he sent those agonizing 
appeals for more tracts, the echoes of which were wafted 
even to our own land. 

To the Missionaries at Afaul?nain, particularly Mr. Bennett. 

" RANGOO^f, November 13, 1830. 

" Dear Brethren : I wrote you lately by Ko Ing, since 
which I have received yours by Moung En. We continue to 
distribute about forty tracts a day, and should gladly double 
the number if we could depend on a supply from Maulmain. 
By tracts I mean not the single sheets or handbills,* contain- 
ing merely a scrap of Scripture, which, being wholly inade- 
quate to give any full idea of the Christian religion, it is im- 
possible to mock any poor soul with, when he holds out his 
hand for such spiritual food as his case requires. They do 
well enough among the converts, and if you find they are 
useful in your parts, I shall be happy to send you back those 
I have on hand, for there is no demand for that article here 

in the present state of the mission But by tracts I 

mean the View, the Catechism, the Balance, and the Investi- 
gator. I earnestly beg the brethren to wake up to the im- 
portance of sending a regular supply of all these articles. 
How long we shall be allowed a footing in Rangoon is very 
uncertain. While a missionary is here, a constant stream 
ought to be poured into the place. Rangoon is the key of 
the country. From this place tracts go into every quarter. 
I could write sheets on the subject, but I trust that it is un- 
necessary. Six weeks have elapsed since I wrote for the 
Balance, and for a few only, as I did not wish to distress any 
one, and though it was then out of print, it is not yet put to 
press. And why ? Because the Epitome has been in the 
way. I am glad the Epitome is printed ; but after all, we 
shall not give away one a week of that article. The state of 
things does not immediately require it. But of the Balance 

Two-page tracts of Scripture extracts. 


T shall give away one hundred a week. There are daily calls 
for it. During the last six weeks I should have given away 
one thousand of the Balance, and they would now be circu- 
lating all over the country. I found twenty in the house on 
my arrival, and have been dealing them out like drops of 
heart's blood. There are few left. I did expect some by 
Moung En ; but alas ! out popped two bundles of scrippeis* 
The book of Scripture Extracts, however, I am thankful for. 
I do not write this with any disposition to find fault. I am 
sure you have done all for the best ; and I feel for brother 
Bennett in his labors at the press. I only blame myself that 
I have not been more explicit, and written more urgently on 
the subject." 

To Mr. Bennett. 

" Rakgoon, February 7, 1S31. 

" Dear Brother Bennett : I wrote lately by Moung San- 
lone, saying that the great festival falls on the 25th instant, 
and begging that, until that time, no tracts might be circu- 
lated in your quarter, but that ever^'thing that could be got 
ready should be sent hither. If you listen to that petition, 
well ; if not, to repeat it, with all the urgency of a dying 
man, would be of no use. We were giving away at the rate 
of three to four hundred per day, until I became alarmed, 
and reduced the allowance to two hundred. We are just, 
therefore, keeping our heads above water. But we have no 
hopes of being ready for the festival unless you pour in 
fifteen or twenty thousand more between this time and that. 
We have had none since the arrival of Moung En. He and 
A brought good supplies ; but, alas ! no Views, and but few 
Balances and Investigators. O when will the time come 
that I shall have as much as I want, and 0/ the right kind ! 
I have labored to verj- great disadvantage ever since I came 
down from Prome, for want of the right kind of supply. If, 
instead of printing such a variety, the brethren had aimed 
only at furnishing a sufficient supply of the necessaries of 
life, how much better it would have been ! I should not 
then have been left for months without the Balance, or any 

The two-page tracts mentioned above. 


equivalent, nor be left, as I now am, month after month, 
without the View^the staple commodity. How distressing 
it is when the poor people come crying for the elements of 
the Christian religion, to be obliged to give them one of the 
small numbers of the Scripture Extracts, which singly can 
give them no idea ! By the way, I beg you will send no 
more of No. 8 : it is just good for nothing in the present 
state of things. I do not write thus by way of finding fault 
with my brethren ; I am quite sure that you have meant all 
for the best. I have made too many mistakes, and criminal 
ones too, all my life long, to allow me to find fault with 
others. I only hope that things will now be kept in such a 
train as to prevent my being reduced again to the straits 1 
have been in for several months. When you have made 
arrangements to insure a supply of the four standard articles^ 
so that we can always have as many of such kind, and of all 
the kinds, as the state of the market requires, I would recom- 
mend to the brethren to issue a small edition of three thou- 
sand of the First Epistle of John. I once thought of Luke ; 
but if you take hold of that we shall be left to starve again 
for want of the necessaries of life. You say that there are 
fourteen hundred of the Scripture Extracts remaining ; and 
these, stitched together, or in two parts, will answer to give 
in cases where something more than the four standards is 
required. As to the Septenary, I would suggest that it is to 
be kept for special cases, and not distributed promiscuously, 
for you will not want to print another edition immediately. 
It was not intended for general circulation, but to be kept 
on hand for the converts and hopeful inquirers. As to your 
plan of printing the Catechism and View together, it is most 
excellent. You can not furnish too many of that article. 
As to the Balance, it is now all the rage, particularly with 
the cut. I suppose you can not clap the cut on the covers of 
those that have it not. It doubles the value. I presume that 
from fifty to one hundred per day inquire particularly for 
the Balance, and we are obliged to turn them off with some- 
thing very inadequate to their exigency. Is not this most 
awful ? Only contrast the countenance of one who has No. 8 


forced upon him instead of the Balance, and goes away feel- 
ing very 'gritty,' with the countenance of another who seizes 
upon the desired article, gloats upon the interesting Bennett 
cut, and goes away almost screaming and jumping for joy. 

" I see, on reperusing your letter, that you speak of a 
second edition of the Septenary. I have no objection, pro- 
vided it does not deprive us again of the necessaries of life. 
I hope, however, you will not abandon the study of the lan- 
guage. The proverb of the * cat and her skin ' I do not like, 
I have a much better one from the first authority. ' My 
son,' said the head jailer of the death-prison at Ava to an 
under-jailer, who was complaining that they could get no 
more out of a poor fellow whom they had been tormenting 
for several days, his wife and house being completely strip- 
ped — 'my son,' said the venerable old man, 'be sure you 
have never wrung a rag so dry but that another twist will 
bring another drop.' " . . . . 

To a Minister in Thompso7i, Conn. 

" Rangoon, March 4, 1831. 
"The great annual festival is just past, during which 
multitudes come from the remotest parts of the country to 
worship at the great Shway Da-gong pagoda in this place, 
where it is believed that several real hairs of Gaudama are 
enshrined. During the festival I have given away nearly 
ten thousand tracts, giving to none but those who ask. I 
presume there have been six thousand applications at the 
house. Some come two or three months' journey, from the 
borders of Siam and China — ' Sir, we hear that there is an 
eternal hell. We are afraid of it. Do give us a writing that 
will tell us how to escape it.' Others come from the frontiers 
of Kathay, a hundred miles north of Ava — ' Sir, we have seen 
a writing that tells about an eternal God. Are you the man 
that gives away such writings ? If so, pray give us one, for 
we want to know the truth before we die.' Others come 
from the interior of the country, where the name of Jesus 
Christ is a little known — ' Are you Jesus Christ's man ? Give 
us a writing that tells about Jesus Christ.' Brother Bennett 


works day and night at the press ; but he is unable to sup- 
ply us, for the call is great at Maulmain and Tavoy as well 
as here, and his types are very poor, and he has no efficient 

But while thus striving to satisfy the thirst of the Bur- 
mans for religious knowledge, he did not intermit his long 
and laborious task of translating the Scriptures. He shut 
himself up in the garret of the mission-house, leaving his 
Burman associates to deal with the inquirers below, only- 
referring to him the more important cases. In his seclu- 
sion, he made such long strides in his work that, at the 
close of his stay at Rangoon, he wrote in his journal, " 1S31, 
July 19, finished the translation of Genesis, twenty chapters 
of Exodus, Psalms, Solomon's Song, Isaiah, and Daniel." 
An English lady who visited Rangoon in 1830, and who 
ventured to penetrate his seclusion, thus describes the 
interior of his study : 

A Visit to Mr. Judson in 183c.* 

" Being unexpectedly in Rangoon in the autumn of 1830, and hearing 
that the justly-celebrated American missionary, good Mr. Judson, was 
still there, with indefatigable zeal prosecuting his ' labor of love ' in the 
conversion of the Burmese, I was extremely anxious to see him ; and, 
having informed ourselves that a visit from English travellers would not 
be deemed a disagreeable intrusion, the captain, his wife, and myselt 
immediately proceeded to Mr. Judson's house. 

" It was a Burman habitation, to which we had to ascend by a ladder ; 
aijd we entered a large, low room through a space like a trap-door. 
The beams of the roof were uncovered, and the window-frames were 
open, after the fashion of Burman houses. The furniture consisted of a 
table in the centre of the room, a few stools, and a desk, with writings 
and books neatly arranged on one side. We were soon seated, and 
were most anxious to hear all that the good man had to say, who, in a 
resigned tone, spoke of his departed wife in a manner which plainly 
showed that he had set his affections ' where alone true joy can be 
found.' He dwelt with much pleasure on the translation of the Bible 
into the Burman language. He had completed the New Testament, and 

* Bj' Miss Emma Roberts, author of " Scenes and Characteristics of Hicdostan." 


was then as far as the Psalms in the Old Testament, which having 
finished, he said he trusted it would be the will of his heavenly Father 
to call him to his everlasting home. 

" Of the conversions going on amongst the Burmese he spoke with 
certainty, not doubting that when the flame of Christianity did burst 
forth, it would surprise even him by its extent and brilliancy. As we 
were thus conversing, the bats, which frequent the houses at Rangoon, 
began to take their evening round, and whirled closer and closer till 
they came in almost disagreeable contact with our heads ; and the flap 
of the heav>- wings so near us interrupting the conversation, we at 
length reluctantly took our leave and departed. And this, thought I, 
as I descended the dark ladder, is the solitary abode of Judson, whom 
after-ages shall designate, most justly, the great and the good. It is 
the abode of one of whom the world is not worthy ; of one who has 
been imprisoned, chained, and starved, and yet who dares still to prose- 
cute his work in the midst of the people who have thus treated him. 
America may indeed be proud of having given birth to so excellent and 
admirable a man, who, amidst the trials, sufferings, and bereavements 
with which it has pleased Heaven to afflict him, still stands with his 
lamp brightly burning waiting his Lord's coming. 

" If there be any man of whom we may without presumption feel 
assured that we will hear the joyful words, ' Well done, thou good and 
faithful servant,' it is certainly the pious Judson, the great and persever- 
ing founder of Christianity in a land of dark idolatry and superstition." 

It was about this time that the Mission Board in this 
country sent him an earnest and affectionate invitation to 
revisit his native land. He was about forty-two years old-, 
and had been absent from America eighteen years. His 
health was shattered. His family he had laid in the grave. 
He said several years later that he had never seen a ship 
sail out of the port of Maulmain bound for England or 
America without an almost irrepressible inclination to get 
on board and visit again the home of his boyhood. And 
yet in reply to this urgent invitation from his brethren, he 
wrote : 

To the Corresponding Secretary. 

" Rangoon, December 20, 1830. 

"Rev. and dkar Sir: I am happy to inform the Board 
that my health, which was rather impaired some time ago, is 


now quite good ; so that I should not feel justified in accept- 
ing their invitation to return home. 

"At the same time, the kind feeling which dictated the 
invitation, and the affection, though undeserved, which 
breathes in every line, have made an indelible impression 
on my heart. I must confess that, in meditating on the sub- 
ject, I have felt an almost unconquerable desire to become 
personally acquainted with my beloved patrons and corre- 
spondents, the members of the Board, as well as to rove once 
more over the hills and valleys of my own native land, to 
recognize the still surviving companions of my youth, and 
to witness the widespread and daily-increasing glories of 
Immanuel's kingdom in that land of liberty, blessed of 
Heaven with temporal and spiritual blessings above all 

" However, I anticipate a happier meeting, brighter plains, 
friends the same, but more lovely and beloved ; and I expect 
soon to witness, yea, enjoy, that glory in comparison of which 
all on earth is but a shadow. With that anticipation I con- 
tent myself, assured that we shall not then regret any in- 
stance of self-denial or suffering endured for the Lord of life 
and glory." 

Yet he, who was so forgetful of self, cared, with alnnost 
womanly tenderness, for the health and comfort of his asso- 
ciates in missionary toil. 

To the Missionaries in Maulmain. 

" Rangoon, March 3, 1831. 

" Dear Brethren and Sisters : I am grieved that sister 
Wade, after running down to Amherst, and deriving a little 
benefit during a few days' stay, thinks she must return, and 
probably has by this time returned, because sister Bennett is 
quite worn out, 'having everything to do.' Now, it appears 
to me that the better way to have remedied that evil would 
have been for sister Bennett to run away from all her cares 
and take the air at Amherst too. 

"Mrs. Jones, I hear, is also ill, and Mrs. Kincaid has not, I 


believe, much health to spare. Now, as you have two monihs 
of very trying weather to sustain, I earnestly beg that you 
will all take into serious consideration the propriety of repair- 
ing Landale's house forthwith, or some other, and placing 
one or two of the ladies, by turns, to keep the post, until the 
rainy season sets in. Mrs. Wade, I humbly conceive, ought 
to be immediately apprehended and sent back as a deserter. 
And certainly no one ought to hesitate a moment at leaving 
mission or domestic cares for the preservation of health. 
When our best beloved are once laid in the cold grave, no 
cries, or tears, or remorse will bring them back. Many faith- 
ful, servants and handmaids of the Lord might have been 
spared many years, had they only relaxed before they made 
their last effort. 

" If you have a house at Amherst during the hot season, 
some of the brethren, too, may be benefited by an excursion 
thither. Brother Bennett will certainly need a week's relax- 
ation there or somewhere else However, I only sub- 
mit these hasty thoughts for your consideration. You are 
on the spot, and know better than I what is necessary and 
proper. May God preserve your precious lives many years ; 
for, though the prospect of death may not be grievous, but 
joyous, 'the harvest is plenteous, and the laborers are few.' " 

While in Rangoon he received the heavy tidings that the 
beloved Boardman had died in the jungles back of Tavoy. 
He thus wrote to the Corresponding Secretary : 

" One of the brightest luminaries of Burmah is extin- 
guished ; dear brother Boardman has gone to his eternal 
rest. I have heard no particulars, except that he died on re- 
turning from his last expedition to the Karen villages, within 
one day's march of Tavoy. He fell gloriously at the head of 
his troops, in the arms of victory ; thirty-eight wild Karens 
having been brought into the camp of King Jesus since the 
beginning of the year, besides the thirty-two that were 
brought in during the two preceding years. Disabled by 
mortal wounds, he was obliged, through the whole of his last 
expedition, to be carried on a litter ; but his presence was 


a host, and the Holy Spirit accompanied his dying whispers 
with almighty influence. Such a death, next to that of mar- 
tyrdom, must be glorious in the eyes of Heaven. Well may 
we rest assured that a triumphal crown awaits him on the 
great day, and 'Well done, good and faithful Boardman, 
enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.' I have great confidence 
in sister Boardman, that she will not desert her husband's 
post, but carry on the work which he has gloriously begun." 

Sorrow had come upon the Boardman household in quick 
and uninterrupted succession. Mrs. Boardman wrote: 

" In our domestic relation, the hand of the Lord has been very heavy 
upon us. About a year and a half ago we lost our eldest child, a lovely 
daughter, two years and eight months old ; four months since, we buried 
our youngest, a sweet little boy of eight months and a half." 

The death of the eldest child is thus pathetically described 
by Mrs. Boardman's biographer: 

'"Sarah is as plump and rosy-cheeked as we could wish. Oh ! how 
delighted you would be to see her, and hear her prattle ! ' Thus wrote 
the mother in her happiness ; and, in' a httle more than two weeks after, 
she saw her darling, speechless and motionless, in her little shroud. ' I 
knew all the lime,' says the bereaved parent, ' that she was very ill ; but 
it did not once occur to me that she might die, till she was seized with 
the apoplexy, about three hours before she closed her eyes upon us for- 
ever. Oh ! the agony of that moment ! ' And in that agonized moment, 
as the shadow of eternity fell upon the spirit of the little sufferer, and a 
vista, which her eye could not discern, but from which her failing nature 
instinctively recoiled, opened before her, she looked with anxious alarm 
into her mother's face, and exclaimed : ' I frightened ! mamma ! I fright- 
ened ! ' What a strange thing is death. The tender nursling, who, in 
moments of even imagined ill, had clung to the mother's bosom, and 
been sheltered in her arms, now hovered over a dark, unfathomed gulf, 
and turned pleadingly to the same shield — but it had failed. The mother's 
arm was powerless ; her foot could not follow ; and the trembling babe 
passed on alone, to find her fears allayed on an angel's bosom." 

Little Sarah's death was soon followed by the revolt of 
Tavoy, and during this brief uprising of the Burmans against 
their masters, Mr. Boardman had been subjected to an ex- 
posure and hardship such as his consumptive habit was ill 


able to endure. From that time he visibly declined. To 
use Mrs. E. C. Judson's words: "His cheeks were a little 
more hollow, and the color on them more flickering; his 
eyes were brighter, and seemingly more deeply set beneath 
the brow, and immediately below them was a faint, indis- 
tinct arc of mingled ash and purple like the shadow of a 
faded leaf ; his lips were sometimes of a clayey pallor, and 
sometimes they glowed with crimson ; and his fingers were 
long, and the hands of a partially transparent thinness." 

The newly-appointed missionary to the Karens, Mr. 
Mason, arrived in Tavoy June 3, 1831. "On the jetty," he 
wrote, " reclining helplessly in the chair which had served 
the purpose of a carriage, a pale, worn-out man, with the 
characters of death in his countenance, waited to welcome 
his successor." Mr. Boardman was preparing to take a tour 
into the jungle in order to baptize some recent Karen con- 
verts. His emaciated form was to be carried on a litter 
several days' journey into the wilderness. Remonstrance 
was unavailing ; for he had set his heart upon accomplishing 
his purpose. Besides, it was thought that the change of air 
might do him good. Even after setting out, he was advised 
to return ; but his reply was : " The cause of God is of more 
importance than my health, and if I return now, our whole 
object will be defeated. I want to see the work of the 
Lord go on." The closing scene of his life is thus described 
by Mrs. Boardman : 

" On Wednesday evening thirty-four persons were baptized. Mr. 
Boardman was carried to the water-side, though so weak that he could 
hardly breathe without the continual use of the fan and the smelling- 
bottle. The joyful sight was almost too much for his feeble frame. 
When we reached the chapel, he said he would like to sit up and take 
tea with us. We placed his cot near the table, and having bolstered him 
up, we took tea 'together. He asked the blessing, and did it with his 
right hand upraised, and in a tone that struck me to the heart. It was 
the same tremulous, yet urgent, and I had almost said, unearthly voice, 
with which my aged grandfather used to pray. We now began to notice 
that brightening of the mental faculties which I had hear 1 spoken of in 
persons near their end. 


" After tea was removed, all the disciples present, about fifty in num- 
ber, gathered around him, and he addressed them for a few moments in 
language like the following: ' I did hope to stay with you till after Lord's 
day, and administer to you once more the Lord's supper. But God is 
calling me away from you. I am about to die, and shall soon be incon- 
ceivably happy in heaven. When I am gone, remember what I have 
taught you ; and O, be careful to persevere unto the end, that when you 
die we may meet one another in the presence of God, never more to part. 
Listen to the word of the new teacher and the teacheress as you have done 
to mine. The teacheress will be very much distressed. Strive to lighten 
her burdens, and comfort her by your good conduct. Do not neglect 
prayer. The eternal God to whom you pray is unchangeable. Earthly 
teachers sicken and die, but God remains forever the same. Love Jesus 
Christ with all your hearts, and you will be forever safe.' This address 
I gathered from the Karens, as I was absent preparing his things for the 
night. Having rested a few minutes, he offered a short prayer, and then, 
with Mr. Mason's assistance, distributed tracts and portions of Scripture 
to them all. Early the next morning we left for home, accompanied by 
nearly all the males and some of the females, the remainder returning to 
their homes in the wilderness. Mr. Boardman was free from pain during 
the day, and there was no unfavorable change, except that his mouth 
grew sore. But at four o'clock in the afternoon we were overtaken by a 
violent shower of rain, accompanied by lightning and thunder. There 
was no house in sight, and we were obliged to remain in the open air, 
exposed to the merciless storm. We covered him with mats and blan- 
kets, and held our umbrellas over him, all to no purpose. I was obliged 
to stand and see the storm beating upon him, till his mattress and 
pillows were drenched with rain. We hastened on, and soon came to a 
Tavoy house. The inhabitants at tirst refused us admittance, and we 
ran for shelter into the out-houses. The shed I happened to enter 
proved to be the ' house of their gods,' and thus I committed an almost 
unpardonable offence. After some persuasion they admitted us into the 
house, or rather veranda, for they would not allow us to sleep inside, 
though I begged the privilege for my sick husband with tears. In ordi- 
nary cases, perhaps, they would have been hospitable ; but they knew 
that Mr. Boardman was the teacher of a foreign religion, and that the 
Karens in our company had embraced that religion. 

" At evening worship, Mr. Boardman requested Mr. Mason to read the 
thirty-fourth Psalm. He seemed almost spent, and said, ' This poor 
perishing dust will soon be laid in the grave; but God can employ other 
lumps of clay to perform His will as easily as He has this poor unworthy 
one.' I told him I should like to sit up and watch by him, but he ob- 


jected, and said in a tender, supplicating tone, ' Can not we sleep 
together ? ' The rain still continued, and his cot was wet, so that he was 
obliged to lie on the bamboo floor. Having found a place where cur 
little boy could sleep without danger of falling- throug^h openings in the 
floor, I threw myself down, without undressing, beside my beloved hus- 
band. I spoke to him often during the night, and he said he felt well, 
excepting an uncomfortable feeling in his mouth and throat. This was 
somewhat relieved by frequent washings with cold water. Miserably 
wretched as his situation was, he did not complain ; on the contrary, his 
heart seemed overflowing with gratitude. ' O,' said he, 'how kind and 
good our Father in heaven is to me ; how many are racked with pain, 
while I, though near the grave, am almost free from distress of body, 
I suffer nothing, Jiothittg to what you, my dear Sarah, had to endure last 
year, when I thought I must lose you. And then I have you to move 
me so tenderly. I should have sunk into the grave ere this, but for your 
assiduous attention. And brother Mason is as kind to me as if he were 
my own brother. And then how many, in addition to pain of body, have 
anguish of soul, while my mind is sweetly stayed on God.' On my say- 
ing, ' I hope we shall be at home to-morrow night, where you can lie 
on your comfortable bed, and I can nurse you as I wish,' he said, 'I 
want nothing that the world can afford but my wife and friends ; earthly 
conveniences and comforts are of little consequence to one so near 
heaven. I only want them for your sake.' In the morning we thought 
him a little better, though I perceived, when I gave him his sago, that 
his breath was ver)' short. He, however, took rather more nourishment 
than usual, and spoke about the manner of his conveyance home. We 
ascertained that by waiting until twelve o'clock we could go the greater 
part of the way by water. 

" At about nine o'clock his hands and feet grew cold, and the affec- 
tionate Karens rubbed them all the forenoon, excepting a few moments 
when he requested to be left alone. At ten o'clock he was much dis- 
tressed for breath, and I thought the long-dreaded moment had arrived. 
I asked him if he felt as if he was going home, — ' Not just yet,' he re- 
plied. On giving him a little wine and water he revived. Shortly after, 
he said, ' You were alarmed without cause just now, dear — I know the 
reason of the distress I felt, but am too vveak to explain it to you." In a 
few moments he said to me, ' Since you spoke to me about George, I 
have prayed for him almost incessantly — more than in all my life before.' 

" It drew near twelve, the time for us to go to the boat. We were dis- 
tressed at the thought of removing him, when evidently so near the last 
struggle, though we did not think it so near as it really was. But there 
was no alternative. The chilling frown of the iron-faced Tavoyan was 



to us as if he was continually saying, ' Be g-one.' I wanted a little broth 
for my expiring husband, but on asking them for a fowl they said they 
had none, though at that instant, on glancing my eye through an opening 
in the floor, I saw three or four under the house. My heart was well- 
nigh breaking. 

" We hastened to the boat, which was only a few steps from the house. 
The Karens carried Mr. Boardman first, and as the shore was muddy, I 
was obliged to wait till they could return for me. They took me imme- 
diately to him ; but O, the agony of my soul when I saw the hand of 
death was on him! He was looking me full in the face, but his eyes 
were changed, not dimmed, but brightened, and the pupils so dilated that 
I feared he could not see me. I spoke to him — kissed him — but he made 
no return, though I fancied that he tried to move his lips. I pressed his 
hand, knowing that, if he could, he would return the pressure ; but, alas 1 
for the first time, he was insensible to my love, and forever. I had 
brought a glass of wine and water already Aixed, and a smelling-bottle, 
but neither was of any avail to him now. Agreeably to a previous re- 
quest, I called the faithful Karens, who loved him so much and whom he 
had loved unto death, to come and watch his last gentle breathings, for 
there was no struggle. 

" Never, my dear parents, did pne of our poor fallen race have less to 
contend with in the last enemy. Little George was brought to see his 
dying father, but he was too young to know there was cause for grief. 
When Sarah died, her father said to George, ' Poor little boy, you will 
not know to-morrow what you have lost to-day.' A deep pang rent my 
bosom at the recollection of this, and a still deeper one succeeded when 
the thought struck me, that though my little boy may not know to- 
morrow what he has lost to-day, yet when years have rolled by, and he 
shall have felt the unkindness of a deceitful, selfish world, he will know " 

Death of Boardman.* 

" Pale with sickness, weak and worn, 
Is the Christian hero borne 
Over hill, and brook, and fen. 
By his band of swart, wild men. 
Dainty odors floating back 
From their blossom-crushing track. 

" Through the jungle, vast and dim. 
Swells out Nature's matin hymn : 

By Mrs. E. C. Judson. 



Bulbuls 'mid the berries red. 
Showers of mellow music shed ; 
Thrushes 'neath their crimson hoods 
Chant their loves along the woods ; 

"And the heron, as he springs 
Up, with startled rush of wings, 
Joins the gorgeous peacock's scream ; 
While the gushing of the stream 
Gives sweet cadence to the hymn, 
Swelling through the jungle dim, 

" So they bear him on his way, 
Till the sunless sky is gray ; 
Then within some lone zayat 
Gentle fingers spread the mat ; 
And a watcher, sad and wan. 
Bends above him till the dawn. 

" Up and on ! The tangled brake 
Hides the deadly water-snake ; 
And the tiger, from his lair 
Half up-springing, snuffs the air. 
Doubtful gazing where they pass. 
Trailing through the long wet grass. 

• Day has faded— rosy dawn 
Blushed again o'er wood and lawn ; 
Day has deepened — level beams 
Light the brook in changeful gleams, 
Breaking in a golden flood 
Round strange groupings in the wood. 

" There, where mountains wild and high 
Range their peaks along the sky, 
Lo ! they pause. A crimson glow 
Burns upon that cheek of snow ; 
And within the eyes' soft blue 
Quiver tears like drops of dew. 

" Upward, from the wooded dell, 
High the joyous greetings swell, 
Peal on peal ; then circhng round, 
Turbaned heads salute the ground. 


While upon the dewy air 

Floats a faint, soft voice in prayer. 

" With the fever on his cheek, 
Breathing forth his teachings meek. 
Long the Gospel-bearer lies. 
Till the stars have climbed the skies. 
And the young moon's slender rim 
Hides behind the mountain grim, 

" 'Twas for this sweet boon he came, 
Crushing hack Death's eager claim ; 
Yet a few more Iambs to fold. 
Ere he mingles with the mold — 
Lambs with torn and crimsoned fleece, 
Wildered in this wilderness. 

" Once again the golden day 
Drops her veil of silver gray ; 
And that dark-eyed mountain band 
Print with bare, brown feet the sand. 
Or the crystal wave turn back, 
Rippling from their watery track. 

" Meekly down the river's bed 
Sire and son alike are led. 
Parting the baptismal flood. 
As of old in Judah's wood ; 
While throughout the sylvan glen 
Rings the stern, deep-voiced Amen. 

" With the love-light in his eyes. 
Mute the dying teacher lies. 
It is finished. Bear him back ! 
Haste along the jungle track ! 
See the lid uplifting now — 
See the glory on his brow. 

" It is finished. Wood and glen 
Sigh their mournful, meek Amen. 
'Mid that circle, sorrow spanned, 
Clasping close an icy hand, 
Lo ! the midnight watcher wan, 
Waiting yet another dawn." 

374 1'^^ L^P^ ^^ ADONIRAM JUDSQN. 

When Mrs. Boardman with her son George, about two 
years and a half old, were thus suddenly left in all the per- 
plexity and desolation of widowhood and fatherlessness, she 
received from Mr. Judson the following words of tenderest 
consolation and counsel : 

To Mrs. Boardman. 

" Rangoon, March 4, 1S31. 

" My dear Sister : You are now drinking the bitter cup 
whose dregs I am somewhat acquainted with. And though, 
for some time, you have been aware of its approach, I vent- 
ure to say that it is far bitterer than you expected. It is 
common for persons in your situation to refuse all consola- 
tion, to cling to the dead, and to fear that they shall too 
soon forget the dear object of their affettions. But don't be 
concerned. I can assure you that months and months of 
heartrending anguish are before you, whether you will or 
not. I can only advise you to take the cup with both hands, 
and sit down quietly to the bitter repast which God has ap- 
pointed for your sanctification. As to your beloved, you 
know that all his tears are wiped awa}^, and that the diadem 
which encircles his brow outshines the sun. Little Sarah 
and the other have again found their father, not the frail, 
sinful mortal that they left on earth, but an immortal saint, 
a magnificent, majestic king. What more can you desire for 
them ? While, therefore, your tears flow, let a due proportion 
be tears of joy. Yet take the bitter cup with both hands, 
and sit down to your repast. You will soon learn a secret, 
that there is sweetness at the bottom. You will find it the 
sweetest cup that you ever tasted in all your life. You will 
find heaven coming near to you, and familiarity with your 
husband's voice will be a connecting link, drawing you almost 
within the sphere of celestial music. 

" I think, from what I know of your mind, that you will 
not desert the post, but remain to carry on the work which 
he gloriously began. The Karens of Tavoy regard you as 
their spiritual mother ; and the dying prayers of your be- 
loved are waiting to be answered in blessings on your in- 


"As to little Georgie, who has now no earthly father to 
care for him, you can not, of course, part with him at pres- 
ent. But if you should wish to send him home, I pledge 
myself to use what little influence I have in procuring for 
him all those advantages of education which your fondest 
wishes can desire. Or if you should be prematurely taken 
away, and should condescend, on your dying bed, to commit 
him to me, by the briefest line or verbal message, I hereby 
pledge my fidelity to receive and treat him as my own son, 
to send him home in the best time and way, to provide for 
his education, and to watch over him as long as I live. More 
than this I can not do, and less would be unworthy of the 
merits of his parents." 



It now became Mr. Judson's duty to return to Maulmain. 
He had been absent thirteen months. The first part of 
that time had been spent in the futile effort to estabHsh a 
mission at Prome, and the last part he had labored alone 
with native converts at Rangoon, distributing tracts, preach- 
ing the Gospel and translating the Scriptures. Mr. and Mrs. 
Wade had repaired to Rangoon soon after his return from 
Prome ; but Mrs. Wade's health had so completely broken 
down that it was thought best for her and her husband to 
take a voyage to America. The ship in which the Wades 
sailed was driven out of its course by violent gales, and at 
last put into a port on the coast of Arracan. Here Mrs. 
Wade's health was so much improved that the idea of going 
to America was given up, and they returned to Maulmain 
instead. But, in the meantime, Mr. Judson's presence 
seemed indispensable there. A new party of missionaries 
had arrived from America, including Mr. and Mrs. Mason, 
Mr. and Mrs. Kincaid, and Mr. and Mrs. Jones. The 
Masons had gone to Tavoy. Mr. Jones went to Rangoon 
to take Mr. Judson's place, and the Kincaids were still 
staying at Maulmain. 

When he returned to Maulmain, he saw much to delight 

his heart. The little church had been enlarged by the 

baptism of many Burmese, Karens, and Talings. Two 

millions of pages of tracts and translations of Scripture had 




been printed. The missionaries had also made repeated 
journeys into the jungle, where a church of fourteen mem- 
bers had been organized at a place called Wadesville, in 
honor of the missionary who had first preached the Gospel 
there. At the close of 1831, Mr. Judson reported on behalf 
of the Burman mission two hundred and seventeen persons 
as baptized during the year ; one hundred and thirty-six at 
Maulmain, seventy-six at Tavoy, and five at Rangoon. 

Soon after returning from Rangoon to Maulmain, he en- 
tered upon a new field of operations. Whenever his close 
confinement to the work of translation necessitated a change 
of air and scene, it was his custom to take a tour among the 
wild Karen tribes occupying the jungle back of Maulmain. 
His restless spirit was always longing to press into the in- 
terior of the country, and the great Irrawaddy valley being 
closed to him, there was nothing left but to penetrate Bur- 
rpah by the Salwen and its tributaries, which constitute the 
second of the river systems by which the land is drained. 

The Karens, as their very name indicates, were wild men. 
They are distributed throughout Burmah, Siam, and parts 
of China, and number from two hundred thousand to four 
hundred thousand. They are, perhaps, the remnants of an 
aboriginal and subjugated race. They are looked down 
upon by the Burmese as inferiors. They speak a different 
language, and have distinct race characteristics. Mr. Board- 
man, who was their first missionary, thus describes them : 

"The Karens are the simplest children of nature I have ever seen. 
They have been compared to the aborigines of America, but they are as 
much inferior, both in mental and physical strength, as a puny effeminate 
Hindoo is inferior to a sturdy Russian, or a British grenadier. Of all 
people in the world, the Karens, I believe, are the most timid and irreso- 
lute. And the fable, that when some superior being was dispensing 
written languages and books to the various nations of the earth, a surly 
dog came along and drove away the Karens and carried away their 
books, agrees better with their indolent and timid character, than halt 
the other fables in vogue among the wise and learned Burmans do with 
truth or common sense. These artless people seem contented, and not 


unhappy in their native forests, treading the little paths th^ir fathers trod 
before them. It is surprising- to see how small a portion of worldly goods 
satisfies their wants and limits their pursuits. A box of betel, often no 
other than the joint of a bamboo, a little heap of rice, a bamboo basket 
for each member of the family to carry burdens in, a cup, a rice and a 
curry-pot, a spinning-wheel of most simple structure, a knife and an axe, 
a change of simple garments, a mat of leaves, half a dozen water-buckets 
of bamboo joints, and a movable fire-place, are nearly all their frail houses 
contain to administer to their comfort. With these accommodations 
they are more free from worldly cares than the owners of farms and 
stalls, and folds, and games, and ships, and stores. Their only worldly 
care is to raise a little money to pay their taxes, under which they groan. 
Although indolent in the extreme, they are so remote from the city that 
they are, I believe, less wicked than most heathen nations. They have 
no hopes in a future life, and generally disdain all allegiance to the pre- 
vailing religion of the country. They are, in general, as careless about 
the future as about the present, except those who have heard the Gospel, 
and those who have been encouraged by the Burmans to build kyoungs 
and pagodas, in the hope of avoiding in the next world the state of hogs, 
and dogs, and snakes, and worms. They are too idle to be quarrelsome 
or ambitious, and too poor to gamble, or eat, or drink to very great ex- 
cess. Their minds are vacant and open for the reception of whatever 
contains a relish, and it is not a little gratifying to see so many of them 
finding that relish in religion." 

The Karens are peculiarly accessible to the Christian re- 
ligion. They are devoid of the pride and dogmatism which 
characterize the Burmans. Besides they had a hoary tra- 
dition that white messengers would come from the sea to 
teach them. When Mr. Boardman first came among them, 
he found that they had in their possession a mysterious 

" On returning from the zayat, I found my house thronged with Karens, 
and was informed that the Karen teacher had arrived with his much 
venerated book. After tea, I called them up, and inquired what they 
wished. The teacher stood forward and said, ' My lord, your humble 
servants have come from the wilderness, to lay at your lordship's feet a 
certain book, and to inquire of your lordship whether it is good or bad, 
tme or false. We, Karens, your humble servants, are an ignorant race 
of people ; we have no books, no written language, we know nothing of 
God or His law. When this book was given us, we were charged to 


worship it, which we have done for twelve years. But we knew rothing 
of its contents, not so much as in what language it is written. W e have 
heard of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and are persuaded of its truth, and 
we wis!i to know if this book contains the doctrine of that Gospel. We 
are persuaded that your lordship can easily settle the question, and teach 
us the true way of becoming happy.' I requested them to produce the 
book, when the old man opened a large basket, and having removed 
fold after fold of wrappers, he handed me an old tattered duodecimo 
volume. It was none other than the ' Book of Common Prayer with the 
Psalms,' published at Oxford, England. ' It is a good book,' said I, ' 'out 
it is not good to worship it. You must worship the God it reveals.' We 
spent the evening instructing these simple foresters in some of the first 
principles of the Gospel. They listened with much attention ; but the 
old teacher, who, it seems, is a kind of sorcerer, appeared disappointed 
at the thought that he had obtained no claim to heaven by worshipping 
the bool< so many years. 

" September (), 1828. The Karens left us for their native forest. It 
was a source of regret to us all, that Ko-thah-byoo was not present to 
facilitate our intercourse by interpreting for us. Just before leaving, the 
old sorcerer put on his jogar's dress, given him, he said, nearly twenty 
years ago, and assumed some self-important airs, so that one of our na- 
tive Christians felt it his duty to administer a gentle reproof, and told 
him there was no good in wearing such a dress, and advised him to lay 
it aside altogether. ' If,' said the sorcerer, ' God will not be pleased 
with this dress, I am ready to send it afloat on yonder stream.' He 
then presented his reprover with his wand, saying he had no further use 
for it." 

Mr, Boardman was afterward informed that the teacher, 
on his way home, tore his jogar's dress to pieces, and threw 
it into a brook. 

While the Burmans Hved in towns and cities, the Karens, 
like our Indians, occupied villages far back in the jungle by 
the side of mountain streams. Mr. Judson's attention was 
first called to them in Rangoon. " They formed small 
parties of strange, wild-looking men, clad in unshapely 
garments, who from time to time straggled past his resi- 

He was told that the}' were as untamable rs the wild cow of 
the mountains ; that they seldom entered a town except on 


compulsion. They were nomadic in their habits. A British 
officer"'^ gives a singular instance of their wildness : 

" An officer was lying on his bed in a little room inside the stockaded 
police post, which had a narrow gate with an armed sentry on guard ; 
the Hillman, with the minimum of clothing, was introduced by a smart 
sergeant, who coaxed him to approach. He cautiously and distrustfully, 
and with great persuasion, advanced stooping to the bed ; when close to 
it, he gave one long, steady look at the white man ; suddenly, with a yell, 
threw himself up straight, turned round, dashed out of the room, through 
the gate, upsetting the armed sentry, rushed across a little stream at the 
bottom of the stockade, and, clambering likg a monkey sheer up the side 
of the opposite mountain, never stopped till he was lost to sight in the 

In order to secure permanent churches among the Karens, 
the first step of the missionaries was to persuade them to 
settle down in one place and form large and well-ordered 
villages. It was in this way that the town of Wadesville, 
before mentioned, sprang into existence. Christianity has 
thus proved a powerful agent in civilizing the Karens, and 
a Christian village is easily distinguished from a heathen one, 
not only by its size, but by its clean, regular streets. 

That Mr. Judson's tours in the Karen jungles were at- 
tended with great fatigue and danger, may be inferred from 
Mr. Boardman's " Historical Sketch of the Karens": 

"The paths which lead to their settlements are so obscurely marked, 
so little trodden, and so devious in their course, that a guide is needed to 
conduct one from village to village, even over the best part of the way. 
Not unfrequently the path leads over precipices, over cliffs and dangerous 
declivities, along deep ravines, frequently meandering with a small stream- 
let for miles, which we have to cross and recross, and often to take it for 
our path, wading through water ankle deep for an hour or more. There 
are no bridges, and we often have to ford or swim over considerable 
streams, particularly in the rainy season ; when, however, the difficulties 
of travelling are so great as to render it next to impossible. Sometimes 
we have to sleep in the open air in the woods, where, besides insects and 
reptiles, the tiger, the rhinoceros, and the wild elephant render our situ- 
ation not a little uncomfortable and dangerous. I have never met with 

* Forbes, in his " British Burmah." 


either of these dangerous animals in the wilderness, but have verj' fre- 
quently seen their recent footsteps and their haunts, while others meet 
them. It is but seldom they do hurt, but it is in their power, and some 
times they have the disposition. And when, after having- encountereri 
so many difficulties, and endured not a little fatigue in travelling, and 
been exposed to so many dangers, we come to a village, we find, per 
haps, but twenty or thirty houses, often only ten, and not unfrequently 
only one or two within a range of several miles." 

On these jungle trips he was always accompanied by a 
band of associates. He would take with him eight or ten 
disciples and dispatch them right and left up the tributaries 
of the Salwen. Two by two they would penetrate the wilder- 
ness, and meeting their teacher a few days later, would re- 
port to him the results of their labor. The Oriental, under 
good leadership, makes a faithful and intrepid follower. 
And Mr. Judson's magnetism of character held his assistants 
to him with hooks of steel. He had the gift of getting 
work, and their best work, out of the converted natives. 
Promising boys and young men he took under his own in- 
struction and qualified them to become teachers and minis- 
ters. His wise and far-reaching views on this primitive and 
indispensable kind of ministerial education may be learned 
from his letters to the Corresponding Secretary. His ex- 
ample might profitably be followed by ministers even in our 
own Christian land : 

" Maulmain, January 3, 1835. 

. . . . " My ideas of a seminary are very different from 
those of many persons. I am really unwilling to place young 
men, that have just begun to love the Saviour, under teachers 
who will strive to carry them through a long course of study, 
until they are able to unravel metaphysics, and calculate 
eclipses, and their souls become as dry as the one and as dark 
as the other. I have known several promising young men 
completely ruined by this process. Nor is it called for in the 
present state of the Church in Burmah. I want to see our 
young disciples thoroughly acquainted with the Bible from 
beginning to end, and with geography and history, so far as 


necessar)' to understand the Scriptures, and to furnish them 
with enlarged, enlightened minds. I would also have them 
carried through a course of systematic theology, on the plan, 
perhaps, of Dwight's. And I would have them well instruct- 
ed in the art of communicating their ideas intelligibly and 
acceptably by word and by writitig. So great is my desire to 
see such a system in operation, that I am strongly tempted, 
as nobody else is able to do anything just now, to make a 
beginning ; and perhaps after brother Wade, who is excel- 
lently well capacitated for this department, has settled the 
Karen language with brother Mason, he will carry on what 
I shall begin, having both Karen and Burmese students 
under his care." .... 

" Maulmain, April 7, 1835. 
" As to the subject of schools, and the preparation of young 
men for the ministry, my views are the same with those you 
have expressed. But I doubt the practicability of a ' semi- 
nary ' all of a sudden. In looking at the subject in its various 
bearings for a considerable time, I see but one way ; and I 
would respectfully propose that instructions be issued to 
every missionary, at every station, to collect around him a 
few boys and young men who may appear promising, and 
give them such instruction as may be consistent with his 
other duties ; with a view of obtaining, in the course of a 
year or two, a contribution from each station of at least two 
or three students, who shall be sent to Maulmain, or Tavoy, 
or some other station, and thus gradually form a seminary, 
which shall continue to be sustained by supplies from the 
several stations, in the same way it was commenced." 

He had a characteristic way of paying his assistants,, a? 
may be learned from a letter of advice which he sends to 
Mr. Mason, who had just taken Mr. Boardman's place at 
Tavoy : 

" But I can assure you, from long experience, that you can 
seldom, if ever, satisfy Burmans, Talings, or Karens, by giv- 
ing them stated, specified, known wages. However much it 
be, they will soon be murmuring for ' more 'bacco,' like their 


betters. Few of the natives that I pay know how much they 
get. No word on the subject ever passes between me and 
them. I contrive, at unequal intervals, to pop a paper of ru- 
pees — five, ten, or fifteen — into their hands, in the most 
arbitrary way, and without saying a word. But I take ac- 
curate note of every payment, and at the end of the year, or 
of the period for which they are employed, I manage to have 
paid them such a sum as amounts to so much per month, the' 
rate agreed upon with my brethren. This plan occasions less 
trouble than one is apt to think at first ; at any rate, not so 
much trouble as to be in hot water all the time about their 
wages' However, I only show you my anvil. Hammer 
your tools on it, or on another of your own invention, as you 

The following extracts from Mr. Judson's journal de- 
scribe his life in the jungle. They relate to his second tour 
among the Karens : 

" Wadesville, January i, 1S32. 

" We set out from Maulmain, as purposed in my last, and 
leaving the Salwen on the west, and the Ataran on the east, 
we followed the Gyne and the Dah-gyne, as it is termed 
above its confluence with the Houng-ta-rau, whicJi falls in 
from the east, and in three days reached this place, the dis- 
tance being, by conjecture, above eighty miles. Accounts, 
on first arriving, are rather unfavorable. 

"January 11. Continued to work our way up the river, 
frequently impeded by the trees which had fallen across the 
water, and through which we were obliged to cut a passage 
for the boat. At night, came to a small cluster of houses, 
where we found an elderly woman, who with her daughter 
formerly applied for baptism, but was advised to wait. She 
now received us joyfully, and united with her daughter and 
son-in-law in begging earnestly that their baptism might be 
no longer delayed. I directed them to meet me at Kwan- 
bee, about a mile distant, where I formerly baptized nine 
disciples, most of them from Tee-pah's village, a few miles to 
'he west. 


^^ January 12. Proceeded to Kwan-bee. A few people came 
together on the beach to stare at us, and we had a little 
meeting for worship before breakfast. We then proceeded 
to investigate the case of Loo-boo, who was reported to have 
joined, when his child was extremely ill, in making an offer- 
ing to a nat (demon) for its recovery. We at first thought 
of suspending him from the fellowship of the church ; but 
he made such acknowledgments and promises that we finally 
forgave him, and united in praying that God would forgive 
him. We do not hear of any other case of transgression ; 
but, on the contrary, in two instances of extreme illness, the 
disciples resisted all the importunities of their friends to join 
in the usual offerings to propitiate the demons who are sup- 
posed to rule over diseases. In one instance, the illness 
terminated in death ; and I have to lament the loss of Pan- 
mlai-mlo, who was the leader of the little church in this 
quarter, and the first of these northern Karens who, we hope, 
has arrived safe in heaven. I ought, perhaps, to except the 
case of a man and wife near the head of the Patah River, 
who, though not baptized, and 7iever seen by atiy foreign mis- 
sionary, both died in the faith ; the man enjoining it on his 
surviving friends to have the 'View of the Christian Religion ' 
laid on his breast and buried with him. 

" Some of the disciples have gone to Tee-pah's village to 
announce my arrival ; and while others are putting up a 
small shed on the bank, I sit in the boat and pen these 

" In the evening, held a meeting in the shed, at which 
several of the villagers were present. 

"January 13. M)^ people returned from Tee-pah's village, 
bringing with them several disciples, and one woman, the 
wife of Loo-boo, who presented herself for baptism, with 
twelve strings of all manner of beads around her neck, and 
a due proportion of ear, arm, and leg ornaments ! and, 
strange to say, she was examined and approved, without one 
remark on the subject of her dress. The truth is, we quite 
forgot it, being occupied and delighted with her uncommonly 
prompt and intelligent replies. In the afternoon, sent the 


boat back to Maulmain, with directions to proceed up the 
Salwen, having concluded to cross thither by land. In the 
evening, had a pretty full shed ; but the inhabitants of the 
place do not appear very favorably inclined. 

^^ January 14. The three persons mentioned on the nth 
presented themselves, with the decorated lady of yesterday. 
Being formerly prevented by illness from animadverting on 
female dress in this district, as I did in the Dah-gyne, I took 
an opportunity of ' holding forth ' on that subject before 
breakfast ; and it was truly amusing and gratifying to see 
the said lady, and another applicant for baptism, and a 
Christian woman who accompanied them, divest themselves 
on the spot of every article that could be deemed merely 
ornamental ; and this they did with evident pleasure, and 
good resolution to persevere in adherence to the plain dress 
system. We then held a church-meeting, and having bap- 
tized the four applicants, crossed the Leing-bwai on a bridge 
of logs, and set out for Tee-pah's village, accompanied by a 
long train of men, women, children, and dogs. Toward 
night we arrived at that place, and effected a lodgment in 
Tee-pah's house. In the evening, had a pretty full assembly. 
"Ja?iuary 15. Lord's day. In the forenoon I held a meet- 
ing for the disciples only, and, as I seldom see them, endeav- 
ored to tell them all I knew. Had more or less company 
through the day. In the evening, a crowded house. Tee 
pah's father, a venerable old man, came forward, and wit- 
nessed a good confession. Some others, also, begin to give 
evidence that they have received the truth into good and 
honest hearts. 

"January 16. In the morning Tee-pah's mother joined the 
party of applicants for baptism, and her younger daughter- 
in-law, whose husband was formerly baptized. But Tee-pah 
himself, though convinced of the truth, and giving some 
evidence of grace, can not resolve at once on entire absti- 
nence from rum, though he has never been in the habit of in- 
toxication. In the course of the forenoon we held a church- 
meeting, and unanimously received and baptized eight indi- 
viduals from this and a small village two miles distant. 


" Took an affectionate leave of the people, and prosecuted 
our journey toward the Salwen. Came to Zat-kyee's small 
village, where one man and his wife embraced the truth at 
first hearing ; and the man said, that as there was no suit- 
able place for baptizing at that village, he would follow on, 
until he could say, ' See, here is water,' etc. I gave him 
leave to follow, not with that view, but to listen further to 
the blessed Gospel. At night, reached Shway-bau's village, 
wiiere they afforded us a shelter rather reluctantly. In the 
evening, however, had an interesting, though small as- 

'■'■January 17. Pursued our way, and soon came in sight of 
the Salwen, the boundary between the British and Burmese 
territories. Arrived at Poo-ah's small village, consisting of 
three houses, not one of which had a leaf of covering. No 
one welcomed our arrival, so we sat down on the ground. 
Presently the preaching of one of the Karen disciples so 
wrought upon one of the householders, a Burman with a 
Karen wife, that he invited me to sit on his floor ; and my 
people spread a mat overhead, which, with my umbrella, 
made me quite at home. . The householder, in the interval 
of his work, and one of the neighbors, began to listen, and 
were present at evening worship. 

^'' [anuary 18. Shway-hlah, the man who followed us from 
the village day before yesterday, appearing to be sincere in ~ 
his desire to profess the Christian religion, we held a meet- 
ing, though four disciples only could be present ; and on 
balloting for his reception, there was one dissentient vote, 
so that I advised him to wait longer. He appeared to be 
much disappointed and grieved ; said that he should per- 
haps not live to see me again, and have an opportunity of 
being initiated into the religion of Jesus Christ ; and after 
a while the two Karen disciples insisting that he should be 
re-examined, we gave him a second trial, when, on cross-ques- 
tioning him in the Burman language, which he understood 
pretty well (for we began to suspect the Karen interpreters 
of being a little partial to their countrymen), some circum- 
stances leaked out which turned the scale in his favor 


and he gained a clear vote. After his baptism, he went on 
his way rejoicing, resolving to tell all his neighbors what 
'great things the Lord had done for him.' At morning wor- 
ship, our host and the neighbor mentioned above, appeared 
to be very near the kingdom of heaven, but the other people 
of this village decidedly reject the Gospel. 

^^ January 24. Set out for Bau-nah's village, two days' 
journey ; but after travelling an hour over dreadful mount- 
ains and in the bed of a rivulet, where the water was some- 
times knee-deep, and full of sharp, slippery rocks, when my 
bare feet, unaccustomed to such usage, soon became so sore 
that I could hardly step ; and having ascertained that such 
was the only road for many miles, I felt that I had done all 
that lay in my power toward carrying the Gospel farther in 
this direction, and therefore relinquished the attempt, and 
reluctantly returned to Chanbau's village. Not so many 
present at evening worship as yesterday. The seed sown 
here appears, in some instances, to have fallen on good 
ground ; but our short stay deprives us of the pleasure of 
seeing fruit brought to perfection. 

^^ January 27. This little village may be said to have em 
braced the Gospel. At one time we had eight applicants for 
baptism ; but two only were finally received, Ko Shway and 
his wife Nah Nyah-ban. They both understood the Burmese 
language pretty well ; and the woman possesses the best in- 
tellect, as well as the strongest faith, that I have found among 
this people. I invited them, though rather advanced in life, 
to come to Maulmain, and learn to read, promising to sup- 
port them a few months ; and they concluded to accept the 
invitation next rainy season. They followed us all the way 
to the boat, and the woman stood looking after us until we 
were out of sight. 

" In the afternoon, arrived again at the Yen-being River, 
and sent some of my people to a neighboring village two 
miles distant. The villagers listened a while, and then sent 
a respectful message, saying that they believed the religion 
of Jesus Christ, that it was most excellent, etc., but begged 
that the teacher would go about his business, and not come 
to disturb them. 


^^ January 30. In the morning, held a church mcetirg by 
the river-side, and received the last two applicants. The 
chief of the village, Yet-dau's father, and several other per- 
sons, are very favorably impressed. Not a word of opposi- 
tion to be heard. Took an affectionate leave of this little 
church, now consisting of six members, and went down the 
river on the west side of Kanlong Island, having come up on 
the east side from Poo-ah's village. Entered the Mai-zeen 
rivulet, in Burmese territory, and landed at Thah-pe-nike's 
village, where we spent the day. In the evening had a noisy 
assembly. Some professed to believe, but pleaded the fear 
of Government as an excuse for not prosecuting their in- 
quiries. One young man, Kah-lah by name, drank in the 
truth, and promised to come to Maulmain as soon as he could 
get free from some present engagements. 

'■^January 31. Continued our course down the river, and 
landed on the west side, at Ti-yah-ban's village. The chief 
is said to be very much in favor of the Christian religion, 
but, unfortunately, had gone up the river, and his people did 
not dare to think in his absence. In the afternoon came to 
the 'upper village,' the first we found on Kanlong. They 
listened well, but, about sunset, took a sudden turn, and 
would give us no further hearing. We removed, therefore, 
to Yai-thah-kau's village. Some of my people went ashore. 
The chief was absent, and the principal remaining personage, 
a Buddhist Karen, said that when the English Government 
enforced their religion at the point of the sword, and he had 
seen two or three suffer death for not embracing it, he would 
begin to consider, and not before ; that, however, if the 
teacher desired to come to the village, he could not be inhos- 
pitable, but would let him come. I sent back word that I 
would not come, but, as he loved falsehood and darkness, I 
would leave him to live therein all his days, and finally go 
the dark way ; and all my people drew off to the boat. While 
we were deliberating what to do, something touched the old 
man's heart ; we heard the sound of footsteps advancing in 
the dark, and presently a voice. ' My lord, please to come 
to the village.' ' Don't call me lord. I am no lord, nor r'„_r 


of this world.' ' What must I call you ? Teacher, I suppose.' 
' Yes, but not your teacher, for you love to be taught false- 
hood, not truth.' ' Teacher, I have heard a great deal against 
this religion, and how can I know at once what is right and 
what is wrong? Please to come and let me listen attentively 
to your words.' I replied not, but rose and followed the old 
man. He took me to his house, spread a cloth for me to sit 
on, manifested great respect, and listened with uncommon 
attention. When I prepared to go, he said, ' But you will 
not go before we have performed an act of worship and 
prayer?' We accordingly knelt down, and, during prayer, 
the old man could not help, now and then, repeating the 
close of a sentence with emphasis, seeming to imply that, in 
his mind, I had not quite done it justice. After I was gone, 
he said that it was a great thing to change one's religion ; 
that he stood quite alone in these parts ; but that, if some of 
his acquaintance would join him, he would not be behind. 

''''February 2. Went round the northern extremity of Kan 
long, and up the eastern channel, to Poo-ah's village, where 
we found the two disciples whom we sent away on the 21st 
ultimo. They have met with a few hopeful inquirers. Some 
who live near are expected here to-morrow. In the mean- 
time, went down the river a few miles, to Poo-door's village. 
My people preceded me, as usual, and about noon I followed 
them. But I found that the village was inhabited chiefly by 
Buddhist Karens, and, of course, met with a poor reception. 
After showing myself and trying to conciliate the children 
and dogs, who cried and barked in concert, I left word that, 
if any wished to hear me preach, I would come again in the 
evening, and then relieved the people of my presence, and 
retreated to the boat. At night the disciples returned, with- 
out any encouragement. One of them, however, accidentally 
met the chief, who said that if I came he would not refuse to 
hear what I had to say. On this half invitation I set out, 
about sunset, and never met with worse treatment at a Karen 
village. The chief would not even invite us into his house, but 
sent us off to an old deserted place, where the floor was too 
frail to support us ; so we sat down on the ground. He then 


invited us nearer, and sat down before us, with a few confi- 
dential friends. He had evidently forbidden all his people 
to approach us, otherwise some would have come, out of 
curiosity. And what a hard, suspicious face did he exhibit ! 
And how we had to coax him to join us in a little regular 
worship ! It was at least an hour before he would consent 
at all. But in the course of worship his features softened, 
and his mind 'crossed over,' as he expressed it, to our relig- 
ion ; and I returned to the boat inclined to believe that all 
things are possible with God. 

^'February 3. Some of my people who slept at the village 
returned with the report that the place is divided against 
itself. Some are for. and some against us. The opposition 
is rather violent. One man threatens to turn his aged father 
out of doors if he embraces the Christian religion. Perhaps 
this is not to be regretted. Satan never frets without cause. 
Turned the boat's head again to the north, and retraced our 
way to Poo-ah's village, where we spent the rest of the day. 
But the two hopeful inquirers that 1 left here on the 29th 
have made no advance. 

'■'■ Febrtiary <^. Visited Wen-gyan, Pah-len, and Zong-ing, 
Taling villages, where we found a few Karens. At the latter 
place, collected a small assembly for evening worship. A 
few professed to believe ; others were violent in opposing. 

^''February 10. Visited several Taling villages in succes- 
sion. In the afternoon, reached the confluence of the Salwen 
and the Gyne, upon which we turned into the latter, and 
went up to Taranah, where Ko Shan resides, as mentioned 
December 29. The inhabitants of this place, like the Talings 
in general, are inveterately opposed to the Gospel, and Ko 
Shan has had very little success. Two or three individuals, 
however, appear to be favorably impressed ; but the oppo- 
sition is so strong that no one dares to come forward. 

^^ February 11. Left Ko Shan, with the promise of sending 
him aid as soon as possible, and in the afternoon reached 
Maulmain, after an absence of six weeks, during which I 
have baptized twenty-five, and registered about the same 
number of hopeful inquirers. I find that brother and sister 



Jones have arrived from Rangoon, brother Kincaid having 
concluded to take their place." 

But this second tour among the Karens was soon followed 
by a third, of which a brief account is given in Mr. Judson's 
words : 

^^ February 29, 1832. Left Maulmain for the Karen villages 
on the Salwen, accompanied by Ko Myat-kyau, who speaks 
Karen, three other Taling disciples, and the two Karen as- 
sistants, Panlah and Chet-thing. The other Karen assistant, 
Tau-nah, I expect to meet at Chummerah, according to the 
arrangement of February 4. At night, reached Tong-eing, 
and found that the few Karens near the place had concluded 
to reject the Gospel. 

" Afarch i. Touched at the village above Nengyan, and 
found that the inhabitants have come to the same conclusion, 
'till the next rainy season.' Passed by all the Taling towns, 
and touched at the village below Rajah's, where we found 
that the people still adhere to the new Karen prophet, Aree- 
maday. Moung Zuthee unfortunately encountered a very 
respectable Burman priest, with a train of novices, who, not 
relishing his doctrine, fell upon him, and gave him a sound 
beating. The poor man fled to me in great dismay, and, I 
am sorry to say, some wrath, begging leave to assemble our 
forces and seize the aggressor, for the purpose of delivering 
him up to justice. I did assemble them ; and, all kneeling 
down, I praised God that He had counted one of our number 
worthy to suffer a little for His Son's sake ; and prayed that 
He would give us a spirit of forgiveness, and our persecutors 
every blessing, temporal and spiritual ; after which we left 
the field of battle with cool and happy minds. Reached 
Rajah's late at night. He remains firm, though not followed 
by any of his people. His wife, however, and eldest daugh- 
ter, after evening worship, declared themselves on the side 
of Christ. 

^^ March 2. Spent the forenoon in instructing and examin- 
ing the wife and daughter. The former we approved, but 
rejected the latter, as not yet established in the Christian 


faith. After the baptism, Rajah and his wife united in pre- 
senting their younger children, that I might lay my hands on 
them and bless them. The elder children, being capable of 
discerning good from evil, came of their own accord, and 
held up their folded hands in the act of homage to their 
parents' God, while we offered a prayer that they might ob- 
tain grace to become true disciples, and receive the holy 
ordinance of baptism. At noon, left this interesting family, 
and proceeded up the river, stopping occasionally, and 
preaching wherever we could catch a listening ear. Entered 
the Mai-san, and landed at the village above Rai-ngai's, 
which Ko Myat-kyau has formerly visited. In the evening, 
had two very attentive hearers. 

" March 3. The two attentive hearers were up nearly all 
night, drinking in the truth. One of them became urgent 
for baptism ; and on hearing his present and past experience, 
from the time he first listened to the Gospel, we concluded 
to receive him into the fellowship of the church. His wife 
is very favorably disposed, but not so far advanced in knowl- 
edge and faith. Returned to the Salwen, and made a long 
pull for Poo-door's village ; but late in the evening, being 
still at a considerable distance, were obliged to coil ourselves 
up in our small boat, there being no house in these parts, and 
the country swarming with tigers at this season, so that none 
of us ventured to sleep on shore. 

^^ March 4. Lord's day. Uncoiled ourselves with the first 
dawn of light, and soon after sunrise took possession of a 
fine flat log, in the middle of Poo-door's village, a mile from 
the river, where we held forth on the duty of refraining from 
work on this the Lord's day, and attending divine worship. 
Some listened to our words ; and in the forenoon we suc- 
ceeded in collecting a small assembly. After worship, the 
old man mentioned formerly, whose son threatened to turn 
him out of doors, came forward, with his wife ; and having 
both witnessed a good confession, we received them into our 
fellowship. Poo-door himself absent on a journey ; but his 
wife ready to become a Christian. 

" March 10. Went on to the mouth of the Yen-being, and as 



far as the great log, which prevents a boat from proceeding 
farther. Providentially met with Wah-hai, of whom I have 
heard a good report for some time. He was happy to see us 
and we were happy to examine and baptize him. We then 
visited the village, whence they formerly sent a respectful 
message, desiring us to go about our business, and found 
some attentive listeners. 

^^ March ii. Lord's day. Again -took the main river, and 
soon fell in with a boat, containing several of the listeners of 
yesterday, among whom was one man who declared his reso- 
lution to enter the new religion. We had scarcely parted 
with this boat when we met another, full of men, coming 
down the stream ; and, on hailing to know whether they 
wished to hear the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, an 
elderly man, the chief of the party, replied that he had 
already heard much of the Gospel, and there was nothing he 
desired more than to have a meeting with the teacher. Our 
boats were soon side by side, where, after a short engage- 
ment, the old man struck his colors, and begged us to take 
him into port, where he could make a proper surrender of 
himself to Christ. We accordingly went to the shore, and 
spent several hours very delightfully, under the shade of the 
overhanging trees, and the banner of the love of Jesus. The 
old man's experience was so clear, and his desire for baptism 
so strong, that, though circumstances prevented our gaining 
so much testimony of his good conduct since believing as we 
usually require, we felt that it would be wrong to refuse his 
request. A lad in his company, the person mentioned Janu- 
ary 30, desired also to be baptized. But, though he had been 
a preacher to the old man, his experience was not so decided 
and satisfactory ; so that we rejected him for the present. 
The old man went on his way, rejoicing aloud, and declaring 
his resolution to make known the eternal God and the dying 
love of Jesus, all along the banks of the Yoon-za-len, his 
native stream. 

" The dying words of an aged man of God, when he waved 
his withered, death-struck arm, and exclaimed, ^The best of 
all is, God is with us,' I feel in my very soul. Yes, the great 


Invisible is in these Karen wilds. That mighty Being who 
heaped up these craggy rocks, and reared these stupendous 
mountains, and poured out these streams in all directions, 
and scattered immortal beings throughout these deserts — He 
is present by the influence of his Holy Spirit, and accompa- 
nies the sound of the Gospel with converting, sanctifying 
power. ' The best of all is, God is with us.' 

" ' In t/tese deserts let me labor, 
On lAese mountains let me tell 
How he died — the blessed Saviour, 
To redeem a world from hell.' 

" Mare/i 12. Alas! how soon is our joy turned into 
mourning ! Mah Nyah-ban, of whom we all had such a 
high opinion, joined her husband, not many days after their 
baptism, in making an offering to the demon of diseases, on 
account of the sudden, alarming illness of their youngest 
child ; and they have remained ever since in an impenitent, 
prayerless state ! They now refuse to listen to our exhorta- 
tion, and appear to be given over to hardness of heart and 
blindness of mind. I was therefore obliged, this morning, 
to pronounce the sentence of suspension, and leave them to 
the mercy and judgment of God. Their case is greatly to 
be deplored. They are quite alone in this quarter, have seen 
no disciples since we left them, and are surrounded with ene- 
mies, some from Maulmain, who have told them all manner 
of lies, and used every effort to procure and perpetuate their 
apostasy. When I consider the evidence of grace which they 
formerly gave, together with all the palliating circumstances 
of the case, I have much remaining hope that they will yet 
be brought to repentance. I commend them to the prayers 
of the faithful, and the notice of any missionary who may 
travel that way. In consequence of the advantage which 
Satan has gained in this village, the six hopeful inquirers 
whom we left here have all fallen off, so that we are obliged 
to retire with the dispirited feelings of beaten troops. 

" I respectfully request and sincerely hope that this article 
may be neither suppressed nor polished. The principle of 



'double selection,' as it is termed, that is, one selection by 
the missionary and another by the publishing committee, has 
done great m-ischief, and contributed more to impair the 
credit of missionary accounts than anything else. We in the 
East, knowing how extensively this principle is acted on, do 
scarcely give any credit to the statements which appear in 
some periodicals, and the public at large are beginning to 
open their eyes to the same thing. It is strange to me that 
missionaries and publishing committees do not see the 
excellency and efficacy of the system pursued by the inspired 
writers — that of exhibiting the good and the bad alike. 
Nothing contributes more to establish the authenticity of the 
writing. A temporary advantage gained by suppressing 
truth is a real defeat in the end, and therefore piovj] Svreov 

^^ March 27. Ran down the river without touching at any 
place by the way. At night reached Maulmain, after an 
absence of nearly a month, during which I have baptized 
nineteen, making eighty Karen Christians in connection with 
the Maulmain station, of whom one is dead and two are sus- 
pended from communion. Am glad, yet sorry, to find that 
brother Bennett arrived a fortnight ago from Calcutta, with 
a complete font of types, and yesterday sent a boat to call 
me, which, however, passed us on the way. Must I, then, 
relinquish my intention of making another trip up the river 
before the rains set in ? Must I relinquish for many months, 
and perhaps forever, the pleasure of singing as I go, — 

" ' In these deserts let me labor, 

On these mountains let me tell ' } 

Truly, the tears fall as I write." 

At the close of the year 1832 Mr, Judson reported one 
hundred and forty-three baptisms : three at Rangoon, 
seventy at Maulmain, sixty-seven at Tavoy, and three at 
Mergui. This made five hundred and sixteen who had been 
baptized since his arrival in Burmah, only seventeen of 
whom had been finally excluded. 


On the first day of the new year a party of new mission- 
aries arrived in Maulmain from America. These reinforce- 
ments seem to have come in response to a stirring appeal 
for help sent by the missionaries nearly a year before : 

To the American Baptist Board for Foreign Missiojis. 

"Maulmain, March /\, 1832. 

"Respected Fathers and Brethren: At our monthly concert 
this morning, it was unanimously agreed that a joint letter should be ad- 
dressed to you on the importance of sending out more missionaries to 
this part of the heathen world. Being, every one of us, exceedingly 
pressed for want of time, we can not stop to prepare an elaborate state- 
ment, but must come at once to the point in hand. 

"We are in distress. We see thousands perishing around us. We 
.see mission stations opening on every side, the fields growing whiter 
every dav, and no laborers to reap the harvest. If each one of us could 
divide himself into three parts, happy would he be, not only to take leave 
of his native land and beloved connections at home, but of still nearer 
and more intimate connections. We want instantly to send aid to the 
Tavoy station, where brother Mason is laboring, almost alone. We 
want instantly to send a missionary to Mergui, a pleasant, healthful town, 
south of Tavoy, where a small church has been raised up, and left in 
charge of a native pastor. Our hearts bleed when we think of poor 
Mergui and the Karens in that vicinity, many of whom are ready to em- 
brace the Gospel and be saved But how can we allow ourselves to think 
of that small place, when the whole kingdom of Siam lies in our rear, and 
the city of Bangkok, at once a port for ships and the seat of imperial gov- 
ernment } We want instantly to dispatch one of our number to Bang- 
kok. One? There ought, at this moment, to be three, at least, on their 
way to that important place. Another ought to be on his way to Yah- 
heing, a large town east of Maulmain, from which there is :\ line river 
leading down to Bangkok ; there are many Karens at Yah-h. ing. The 
Christian religion is creeping that way by means of our Karen disciples. 
North of Yah-heing and the Thoung-yen River, the boundary of the 
British territory on that side, lies the kingdom or principality of Zenmai. 
There have been several communications between the Government ot 
Maulmam and Lah-bong, the present capital of that countr}'. Moung 
Shway-bwen, one of our disciples, formerly with brother Boardman at 
Tavoy, is a nephew of the prince, or deputy prince, of that country, and 
is anxious to return thither. But how can we send him, a very young 
man, without a missionary.? If we had a spare missionary, what a fine 
opportunity for introducing the Gospel into that central nation ! It 



would open the way to other neighboring nations, not even mentioned in 
foreign geographies, and even to the borders of China and Tartary. Be- 
tween Maulmain and Zenmai are various tribes of Karens, Toung-thoos, 
Lah-wahs, etc. The former are literally crying out aloud for a written 
language, that they may read in their own tongue the wonderful works 
of God. From the banks of the Yoon-za-len, on the north-west, the 
celebrated prophet of the Karens has repeatedly sent down messages and 
presents to us, begging that we would come and instruct his people in 
the Christian religion. But how can we think of supplying that quarter, 
when the old kingdom of Arracan, now undei British rule, and speaking 
the same language with the Burmese, is crying, in the whole length and 
breadth of her coast, for some one to come to her rescue ? In that 
country are one or two hundred converts, and one country-born mis- 
sionary, from the Serampore connection, who is laboring without any 
prospect of reinforcement from Bengal, and desirous that one of us 
should join him, Kyouk Phyoo, lately established by the English, is es- 
teemed a healthy place. The commandant is disposed to welcome a 
missionary, and afford him every facility. Our hearts bleed when we 
think of Kyouk Phyoo, and the poor inquirers that one of our number 
lately left there, ready to embrace the Christian religion, if he would only 
promise to remain or send a successor. From Kyouk Phyoo the way is 
open into the four provinces of Arracan, namely, Rek-keing. Chedubah, 
Ramree, and Sandoway ; and what a grand field for our tracts, and the 
New Testament, now in press ! Of all the places that now cry around 
us, we think that Kyouk Phyoo cries the loudest. No ; we listen again, 
and the shrill cry of golden Ava rises above them all. Oh, Ava ! Ava ! 
with thy metropolitan walls and gilded turrets, thou sittest a lady among 
tnese Eastern nations ; but our hearts bleed for thee ! In thee is no 
Christian church, no missionary of the cross. 

" We have lately heard of the death of poor Prince Myen Zeing. He 
liied without any missionary or Christian to guide his groping soul on the 
last dark journey. Where has that journey terminated } Is he in the 
bright world of Paradise, or in the burning lake ? He had attained some 
knowledge of the way of salvation. Perhaps, in his last hours, he turned 
away his eye from tlie gold and silver idols around his couch, and looked 
to the crucified Saviour. But those who first taught him were far away ; 
so he died, and was buried like a heathen. It is true that the one of our 
number who formerly lived at Ava would not be tolerated during the 
present reign ; but another missionary would, doubtless, be well received, 
and, if prudent, be allowed to remain. Two missionaries ought, at this 
moment, to be studying the language in Ava. 

" O God of mercy, have mercy on Ava, and Chageing, and A-ma-ra- 
poo-ra. Have mercy on Pugan and Prome (poor Prome !), on Toung-oo, 


on the port of Bassein, and on all the towns between Ava and Rangoon, 
Have mercy on old Pegu and the surrounding district. Have mercy on 
the four provinces of Arracan. Have mercy on the inhabitants of the 
banks of the Yoon-za-len, the Salwen, the Thoung-yen, and the Gyne. 
Have mercy on all the Karens, the Toung-thoos, the Lah-wahs, and 
other tribes, whose names, though unknown in Christian lands, 
are known to Thee. Have mercy on Zen-mai, on Lah-bong, Myeing- 
yoon-gyee, and Yay-heing. Have mercy on Bangkok, and the kingdom 
of Siam, and all the other principalities that lie on the north and cast. 
Have mercy on poor little Mergui, and Pah-Ian, and Yay, and Lah-meing^ 
and Nah-zaroo, and Amherst, and the Island of Ba-loo, with its villages 
of Talings and Karens. Have mercy on our mission stations at Tavoy, 
Maulmain, and Rangoon, and our sub-stations at Mergui, Chummerah, 
and Nevvville. Pour out Thine Holy Spirit upon us and our assistants, 
upon our infant churches and our schools. Aid us in the solemn and 
laborious work of translating and printing Thine holy, ins|Mred word in 
the languages of these heathen. Oh, keep our faith from failing, our 
spirits from sinking, and our mortal frames from giving way prematurely 
under the influence of the climate and the pressure of our labors. Have 
mercy on the Board of Missions ; and grant that our beloved and re- 
spected fathers and brethren maybe aroused to greater effort, and go 
forth personally into all parts of the land, and put in requisition all the 
energies of Thy people. Have mercy on the churches in tlie United 
States ; hold back the curse of Meroz ; continue and perpetuate the heav- 
enly revivals of religion which they have begun to enjoy ; and may the 
time soon come when no church shall dare to sit under Sabbath and 
sanctuary privileges without having one of their number to represent them 
on heathen ground. Have mercy on the theological seminaries, and 
hasten the time when one-half of all who yearly enter the ministry shall 
be taken by Thine Holy Spirit, and driven into the wilderness, feeling a 
sweet necessity laid on them, and the precious love of Christ and of souls 
constraining them. Hear, O Lord, all the prayers which are this day 
presented in all the monthly concerts throughout the habitable globe, 
and hasten the millennial glory, for which we are all longing, and pray- 
ing, and laboring. Adorn Thy beloved one in her bridal vestments, that 
she may shine forth in immaculate beauty and celestial splendor. Come, 
O our Bridegroom; come. Lord Jesus; come quickly. Amen and Amen, 

" (Signed), " C. Bennett, 

" Oliver T. Cutter, 
"John Taylor Jones, 


"J. Wade." 



A letter from one of the new-comers* to her parents 
gives us an interesting glimpse of our missionary's personal 
habits : 

" Our intercourse with Mr. Judson is of a very pleasing nature, and we 
feel happy to be permitted in the least degree to take off the edge of his 
loneliness. It is affecting to hear his petitions for a long life, to labor 
among the heathen, mingled as they are with panting aspirations after 
heaven. He seems uniformly seriously cheerful. His days and nights 
are spent in a room adjoining the native chapel, where he spends all his 
time, except that devoted to meals (twice a day) and exercise, and gen- 
erally he has a sort of social conversation with some one of the mission 
families in the evening. He is confining himself as closely as possible to 
the completion of his translation of the Scriptures. His exhortations to 
us all to exercise, are practically enforced by his own example. He 
walks ver)' early in the morning, rain or shine ; also after sunset. He 
told me that he had no doubt that so much loss of health and life to 
foreigners in this climate is principally due to their negligence on this 

But the time had at last come when Mr. Judson's long 
domestic solitude was to end. Under date of April lo, 
1834, we find in his journal the following important entry: 

" Was married to Mrs. Sarah H. Boardman, who was born 
at Alstead, New Hampshire, November 4, 1803, the eldest 
daughter of Ralph and Abiah O. Hall — married to George D. 
Boardman, July 4, 1825 — left a widow February 11, 1831, 
with one surviving child, George D. Boardman, born August 
18, 1828." 

Nearly eight years of loneliness had passed since he laid 
his beloved Ann beneath the hopia-tree. He had arrived 
at the age of forty-six, when he married Mrs. Boardman. 
He found in her a kindred spirit. She had spent the three 
years of her widowhood in heroic toil among the Karens at 
Tavoy, and had turned persistently away from the urgent 
appeals of her friends in America to return home for her 
own sake and the sake of her little boy. She had resolved 

* Mrs. Webb. 


to continue her husband's labors alone, and thus wrote con- 
cerning her purpose : 

" As to my future walk, I feel, I trust, a desire to be guided 
by unerring Wisdom. I have never been able to think of 
abandoning forever the cause in which my beloved husband 
rejoiced to wear out his feeble frame and sink into a prema- 
ture grave. The death-bed scene has inspired me with a 
fortitude, or I would hope, faith unknown before, and encir- 
cled the missionary enterprise with a glory not until then 

And again she says : 

" When I first stood by the grave of my husband, I thought 
that I must go home with George. But these poor, inquir- 
ing, and Christian Karens, and the school-boys, and the Bur- 
mese Christians, would then be left without any one to 
instruct them ; and the poor, stupid Tavoyans would go on 
in the road to death, with no one to warn them of their dan- 
ger. How then, oh, how can I go ? We shall not be sepa- 
rated long. A few more years, and we shall all meet in 
yonder blissful world, whither those we love have gone be- 
fore us." 

And so for three years this beautiful and intrepid woman 
continued her husband's work. She was the guiding spirit 
of the mission. She pointed out the way of life to the 
Karen inquirers who came in from the wilderness. She 
conducted her schools with such tact and ability that when, 
afterward, an appropriation was obtained from the English 
Government for schools throughout the provinces, it was 
expressly stipulated that they should be " conducted on the 
plan of Mrs. Boardman's schools at Tavoy." She even made 
long missionary tours into the Karen jungles. With her little 
boy carried by her followers at her side, she climbed the 
mountain, traversed the marsh, forded the stream, and 
threaded the forest. On one of these trips she sent back a 
characteristic message to Mrs. Mason at Tavoy : " Perhaps 


you had better send the chair, as it is convenient to be car- 
ried over the streams when they are deep. You will laugh 
when I tell you that I have forded all the smaller ones." 

Mrs. E. C. Judson relates the following incident concern- 
ing her :'" 

'■• A single anecdote is related by Captain F , a British 

officer, stationed at Tavoy ; and he used to dwell with much 
unction on the lovely apparition which once greeted him 
among those wild, dreary mountains. He had left Tavoy, 
accompanied by a few followers, I think on a hunting expe- 
dition, and had strolled far into the jungle. The heavy rains, 
which deluge this country in the summer, had not yet com- 
menced ; but they were near at hand, and during the night 
had sent an earnest of their coming, which was anything but 
agreeable. All along his path hung the dripping trailers, 
and beneath his feet were the roots of vegetables, half-bared, 
and half-imbedded in mud ; while the dark clouds, with the 
rain almost incessantly pouring from them, and the crazy 
clusters of bamboo huts, which appeared here and there in 
the gloomy waste, and were honored by the name of village, 
made up a scene of desolation absolutely indescribable. A 
heavy shower coming up as he approached a zayat by the 
wayside, and far from even one of those primitive villages, 
he hastily took refuge beneath the roof. Here, in no very 
good humor with the world, especially Asiatic jungles and 
tropic rains, he sulkily 'whistled for want of thought,' and 
employed his e3'es in watching the preparations for his break- 

" ' Uh ! what wretched corners the world has, hidden be- 
yond its oceans and behind its trees ! ' 

"Just as he had made this sage mental reflection, he was 
startled by the vision of a fair, smiling face in front of the 
zayat, the property of a dripping figure, which seemed to his 
surprised imagination to have stepped that moment from the 

* The reader is referred to Mrs. E. C. Judson's charming memoir of Mrs. Sarah B 



clouds. But the party of wild Karen followers which gath- 
ered round her had a very human air ; and the slight burdens 
they bore, spoke of human wants and human cares. The 
lady seemed as much surprised as himself ; but she courtesied 
with ready grace, as she made some pleasant remark in Eng- 
lish ; and then turned to retire. Here was a dilemma. He 
could not suffer the lady to go out into the rain, but — his 
miserable accommodations, and still more miserable break- 
fast ! He hesitated and stammered ; but her quick appre- 
hension had taken in all at a glance, and she at once relieved 
him from his embarrassment. Mentioning her name and 
errand, she added, smiling, that the emergencies of the wil- 
derness were not new to her ; and now she begged leave to 
put her own breakfast with his, and make up a pleasant 
morning party. Then beckoning to her Karens, she spoke a 
few unintelligible words, and disappeared under a low shed — 
a mouldering appendage of the zayat. She soon returned 
with the same sunny face, and in dry clothing ; and very 
pleasant indeed was the interview between the pious officer 
and the lady-missionary. They were friends afterward ; and 
the circumstances of their first meeting proved a very charm- 
ing reminiscence." 

Soon after their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Judson were com- 
pelled to part with little George Boardman. He was but 
six years old, and yet had reached an age when a child be- 
gins to be, in a peculiar sense, the companion of his parents. 
But the children of Anglo-Saxon residents in the East have 
to be sent at an early age toward the setting sun ; other- 
wise they are in danger of death under the debilitating in- 
fluence of the Oriental climate ; or if they get their growth 
at all, are liable to feebleness of mind and body. Such a 
separation between parent and child can not but be peculi- 
arly distressing to the missionary. He devotes himself for 
life and expects to die on the field, and thus the parting 
bids fair to be final. Other Europeans and Americans are 
merely temporary residents in the East, and though also 
compelled to send their children home, may reasonably 



hope to clasp them in their arms once more after a short 
separation. The missionary's child, on the other hand, must 
be permanently consigned to the care of distant strangers. 
This is, perhaps, the keenest suffering that falls to his lot. 
Who can fail to drop a tear over the scene of the Comstocks 
parting with their children as thus described by Dr. Kincaid : 

" I shall never forq^et the parting scene of brother Comstock and his 
wife with their children, when we sailed from the shores of Arracan. 
They had made up their minds to entrust us with their two children, on 
account of the difficulty of educating them in a heathen land. We were 
together one day, at their house, when word came that the ship was 
ready to sail, and we must prepare to embark immediately. Upon the 
arrival of this message, which we had been expecting, Mrs. Comstock 
arose from her seat, took her two children, one in each hand, and walked 
with them toward a grove of tamarind trees near the house. When she had 
walked some little distance, she paused a moment, looked at each of her 
children with all a mother's love, and imprinted an affectionate kiss upon 
the forehead of each. She then raised her eyes to heaven, silently in- 
voked a blessing on their heads ; returned to the house, and delivering 
her children into my hands, said, ' Brother Kincaid, this I do for my 

" Brother Comstock then took his two children by the hand, and led 
them from the house toward the ship, while that tender mother gazed 
upon them, as they walked away, for the last time. She saw them no 
more on earth. God grant that she may meet them in heaven ! 
Brother Comstock accompanied his two children to the ship, which lay 
about two miles off in the bay. When we had descended to the cabin, 
he entered one of the state-rooms with his children. There he knelt 
with them in prayer, laid his hands upon their heads, and bestowed a 
father's blessing upon them — the tears, all the while, streaming down 
his cheeks. This affecting duty over, he resumed, at once, his usual 
calmness. He took leave of me with a gentle pressure of the hand, and 
I followed him to the side of the vessel, as he descended into the small 
boat which lay alongside, and which was to convey him to the shore. 
Never shall I forget the words, or the tone in which those words were 
uttered, as he turned up his face, still bedewed with tears, and exclaimed, 
as the boat moved away, ' Remember, brother Kincaid, six men 
FOR Arracan !' 

" I never saw brother or sister Comstock after that. The very day 
that we took a pilot on board off Sandy Hook, April 28, 1843, was the 
day that sister Comstock died, and in one year afterward, lacking three 


days, that is, on the 25th of April, 1844, brother Comstock followed her. 
Now they sleep side by side in the grave-yard at Ramree, under the 
tamarind trees." 

It was a heavy day for Mrs. Judson when her husbani 
carried to the ship Cashmere the child * who had been the 
sharer of all her sufferings and griefs at Tavoy. It was well 
for her that a veil hid from her eyes the immediate future, 
else she might have seen the boy's hairbreadth escape from 
pirates and the tortures of terror to which the shrinking 
child was subjected on board the ship which was bearing 
him away from his mother's side. 

While in Maulmain, Mr. Judson completed the Burman 
Bible. It was about the time of his marriage to Mrs. 
Boardman that he finished the first rough draft. Seventeen 
years before in Rangoon, all he had to offer of the precious 
Scriptures to the first Burman inquirer was two half sheets 
containing the first five chapters of Matthew.f From that 
time on, beneath all his toils and sufferings and afflictions, 
there moved the steady undercurrent of this great purpose 
and labor of Bible translation. It was a task for which he 
had little relish. He much preferred dealing with the Bur- 
mans individually, and persuading them, one by one, of the 
truth of the Gospel. In a letter which states his purpose of 
relinquishing for many months the pleasure of laboring in 
the Karen jungles in order to shut himself up to the work 
of translation, he says, " The tears flow as I write." Allud- 
ing to this same labor of translation, he writes to the Corre- 
sponding Secretary, "And so, God willing and giving us life 
and strength, we hope to go on, but we hope still to be 
allowed to feel that our great work is to preach the Gospel 
viva voce, and build up the glorious kingdom of Christ 
among this people." 

And when, the Bible being finished, the Board at home 

♦George Dana Boardman, D.D., Pastor of the First Baptist Church, Philadelphia, 
t See page no. 


pressed him to undertake the Dictionary, he sorrowfully 
exclaims : 

" How can I think of leaving this population to perish be- 
fore me, while I am poring over manuscripts and proof- 
sheets ? I must not do it ; I can not do it, unless the Board 
expressly order it ; and then I will obey, believing that vox 
senatus vox Dei. But before they order the only preaching 
missionary in the place to spend his time in making books, 
and above all a dictionary, I beg they will deeply consider 
the propriety of appointing him a preaching colleague." 

But the translation of the Bible was essentially necessary 
to the permanent establishment of Christianity in Burmah, 
and no other living man was qualified for the work. And 
so, in the brief intervals of preaching, and teaching, and 
imprisonment, and jungle travel, secluding himself in the 
garret at Rangoon, and afterward in the little room attached 
to the mission-house at Maulmain, he quietly wrought at 
this prodigious task, until, at last, he could write on January 
31, 1834, at the age of fifty-six : 

" Thanks be to God, I can now say I have attained. I have 
knelt down before Him, with the last leaf in my hand, and 
imploring His forgiveness for all the sins which have polluted 
my labors in this department, and His aid in future efforts to 
remove the errors and imperfections which necessarily cleave 
to the work, I have commended it to His mercy and grace ; 
I have dedicated it to His glory. May He make His own 
inspired word, now complete in the Burman tongue, the 
grand instrument of filling all Burmah with songs of praise 
to our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen." 

Some of the peculiar ideas that controlled him in the 
work of translation, and some of the special difificulties he 
encountered, are disclosed in his letters : 

" My ideas of translating are very different from those of 
some missionaries, better men than myself, but mistaken, I 
think, in this particular. I consider it the work of a man's 
whole life to procure a really good translation of even the 


New Testament in an untried language. I could write much 
on this subject, but I have neither time nor disposition. I 
would only say that, in many instances, missionary labor has 
been dreadfully misdirected, and hundreds of thousands 
most foolishly thrown away. As to us, we wish to proceed 
slow and sure, and to see to it that whatever we do, in regard 
to the inspired word, is well done. About four months ago, 
being convinced that the New Testament, notwithstanding 
all my labor upon it, was still in a very imperfect state, 
brother Wade and myself undertook a thorough revision. 
We have now done one-quarter of it ; and I have some hope 
that by the time the printer and press arrive, we shall be 
able to warrant the whole. After that, we propose to work 
and rework at the precious book of Psalms, until we can 
venture to warrant that also. And so, God willing, and giv- 
ing us life and strength, we hope to go on Allow me 

to suggest whether the exegetical works of Stuart, Robinson, 
Stowe, Ripley, Bush, Noyes, and such like, with some of the 
best German works, ought not to be sent out to the library, 
as soon as they come from the press, without waiting for an 
application to be made for them. I frequently see a sterling 
work on the cover of the Herald or Magazine, and am ready 
to scream, with some variations, ' The book, the book ! my 
kingdom for the book ! ' Yes, a kingdom, if the same ship 
which brought the notice had brought the work too ; whereas 
I have to wait for letters to cross the ocean twice or three 
times, at least, and thus two or three years' use of the book 
is lost, during which time I am, perhaps, working upon that 
very portion of Scripture which that book is intended to 

Again he writes to the Rev. Dr. Sharp : 

" Maulmain, June 28, 1S33. 
" I ought to have written you long ago ; but necessity has 
no law. I have lately entered upon a plan by which I hope 
to finish the translation of the Old Testament in two years. 
I find by experience that I can dispose of twenty-five or 
thirty verses per day, by giving all my time to the work 


One-third of the whole is already done. You may, perhaps, 
wonder why I make such a tedious work of translating, when 
some persons dispatch the whole New Testament, and per- 
haps part of the Old, within a year or two after entering 
their field of labor. There are two ways of translating — the 
one original, the other second-hand. The first must be 
adopted by a missionary whose lot falls in a section of the 
globe where there is no translation of the Scriptures in any 
cognate language, or in any language known to the learned 
men of the country. In that case, he must spend some years 
in reading a great many books, and in acquiring a competent 
stock of the language ; that, like as the spider spins her web 
from her own bowels, he may be able to extract the transla- 
tion from his own brain. The other mode may be advan- 
tageously adopted by a missionary who has in "his hand the 
Bible, already translated into some language known by 
learned natives in the country. In that case, he has only to 
get a smattering of their vernacular, enough to superintend 
their operations, and then parcel out the work, and it is done 
by steam. There have been but few original translations. 
That by Ziegenbalg and his associates, in Tamil, has served 
for all the dialects in the south of India. That by Carey and 
his associates, in Sanscrit and Bengalee, has been the basis 
of all the other translations which they have conducted. 
Morrison's Chinese translation will probably be transferred 
into all the cognate languages ; and the Taling, Karen, and 
Lah-wah, together with the Siamese, and other Shan trans- 
lations, will be obtained more or less directly from the Bur- 
man. I mention the above as specimens merely ; not intend- 
ing to imply that they are the only original translations that 
have been made. Nor would I be understood to speak dis- 
paragingly of second-hand translations. If the partners em- 
ployed are faithful, a second-hand translation may be superior 
to an original one. At any rate, it will probably be more 
idiomatic, and in all cases, when practicable, it ought un- 
doubtedly to be attempted as a first essay ; and as the mis- 
sionary advances in the language, he can gradually raise it 
to any degree of perfection. 


" But I sadly fear that, if I prolong this letter, it will leave 
my to-day's task of twenty verses in the rear." 

The work of translating was done thoroughly and consci- 
entiously. Every Hebrew and Greek word was turned as 
far as possible into its exact Burmese equivalent. The 
Greek word for baptism was justly translated into Burmese, 
Ya-kneat mengalah, that is, the water-bathing or immersing 
religious rite. But it is taking a long step to infer from 
this that Mr. Judson approved of a new version in English, 
which should discard the thoroughly acclimated English 
word baptize, and substitute the word immerse. His death 
occurring just as a new project of such a version w^as ap- 
pearing on the horizon, he has, of course, left behind no 
autographic testimony on this subject. That his name can 
not be claimed as on the side of such a version may be 
learned from a hitherto unpublished letter written by his 
widow within three years of his death : 

" There is one thing that annoys me a good deal — the New 
Bible Versionists claim Dr. J., and I know (though I do not 
feel brave enough to oppose my bare assertion to the ' weight 
of testimony ' they would hurl at my head) that nobody 
could disapprove of a new English version of the Scriptures 
more heartily and entirely than he. He was very strenuous 
about his Burmese version, and would no doubt have per- 
severed in his translation if the whole world had been 
against him. He considered baptize an English word, in 
virtue of its long use, and thought that it had no complete 
synonym in the language. It would be a new word to in- 
troduce into the Burmese, and would only add to the pecul- 
iar mystic importance which always attaches to the ordi- 
nance in a heathen mind ; and, besides, it was perfectly 
translatable. The ya-kneat mengalah (literally, the water- 
bathing, or immersing religious rite) of the Burmans is definite 
and dignified, and without an equivalent in meaning in English. 
The circular of the new society reached Maulmain a month 
too late ; but previous to that he had spoken to me in terms 



of Strong reprobation of the movements of the New Ver- 
sionists. He was a strong, thorough Baptist ; he admired 
the Baptist principle and policy, well carried out ; despised 
all imitations of other denominations, and thought the 
Baptists ought to be willing to stand for what they really 
are — the only true representatives of religious freedom in 
the world. But the abandonment of a word in common use 
for centuries, and so slightly equivocal in its meaning, he 
would have regarded as the very extreme of childishness. 
I have no doubt that Dr. and others are honest in claim- 
ing him ; and I do not know but he may have said and writ- 
ten many things, especially when so deeply interested in the 
issue of his Burmese version, not difficult for them to appro- 
priate ; but I do know that he never contemplated a new 
English version for general circulation, and that what he 
heard of the new movements caused him deep pain." 

Great as was the task of thus scrupulously translating the 
Bible, the revision was still more laborious. Seven years 
were spent in revising the first work. It was a mental 
peculiarity of Mr. Judson's never to leave a thing alone 
while it could possibly be improved. His besetting sin was, 
in his own expressive words, alluded to before, a lust for 
finishing, and it was not until 1840 that he could say : 

" On the 24th of October last, I enjoyed the great happi- 
ness of committing to the press the last sheet of the new 
edition of the Burmese Bible. It makes about twelve hun- 
dred pages quarto. We are sending you several copies by 
the present conveyance 

"As for myself, I have been almost entirely confined to 
the very tedious work of revising the Old Testament. The 
revision of about one-half is completed, and the books from 
ist Samuel to Job, inclusive, have been printed in an edition 
of two thousand. We should have put the first volume to 
press some time ago, had we not been obliged to wait for 
paper, the London paper not matching the American ; and 
now, though paper has arrived, brother Hancock contem- 


plates going to America for new fonts of type, in several 
languages, and brother Cutter has gone on another visit to 
Ava, so that we shall not probably recommence printing the 
Old Testament till his return. I am the more satisfied with 
this arrangement from having just received a complete set 
of Rosenmiiller on the Old Testament, and some other valu- 
able works, in studying which I am very desirous of going 

over the whole ground once more I thought that I 

had finished the revision of the New Testament above a 
month ago ; but there is no end to revising while a thing 
is in the press ; so I continued working at it until I went to 
Dong-yan, and even later ; for it was not until the 2 2d instant 

that the last proof-sheet went to press 

" The work was finished — that is, the revision and print- 
ing — on the 24th October last, and a happy day of relief and 
joy it was to me. I have bestowed more time and labor on 
the revision than on the first translation of the work, and 
more, perhaps, than is proportionate to the actual improve- 
ment made. Long and toilsome research among the biblical 
critics and commentators, especially the German, was fre 
quently requisite to satisfy my mind that my first position 
was the right one." 

In the glow of enthusiasm that attended the completion 
of this task of twenty-four years, and believing that the 
Burmans at that time were especially thirsty for the Word 
of Life, Mr. Judson advocated the almost wholesale 'dis- 
tribution of the Bible throughout the land with a warmth 
and earnestness which he afterward saw good reasons for 

" The Bible cause in this country is now at a very low ebb. 
1 once indulged the hope that I should live to see a complete 
copy of the whole Bible (bound in one volume, so as not to 
be liable to be scattered) deposited in every town and village 
throughout Burmah and Arracan. It is true that many thou- 
sand copies would be requisite ; great hardships would be 
incurrec" and some sturdy perseverance would have to be 


put in requisition. But the work once accomplished, there 
would be seed sown throughout the country that, with the 
blessing of God, would spring up in abundant fruit to His 
glory. From the habits of the people who frequently as- 
semble in large or small parties at the house of the school- 
master, or chief person in the village, to listen to some one 
reading from a religious book, it appears to me that to de- 
posit the Bible at the principal place of resort in every 
village is the least we can do for Burmah ; and that such 
a plan will tell more effectually than any other to fill the 
country with the knowledge of divine truth." 

These views he greatly modified in his later years, as we 
learn from the following interesting passage in one of Mrs. 
E. C. Judson's letters to Dr. Wayland: 

" I do not know whether I ought to try to give Dr. J.'s 
opinion of the Old Testament, for two reasons : first, I do 
not know how much he would have thought it best to ex- 
press ; and secondly, I can not be very positive what his 
opinions were. He was very fond of speculation, and had a 
habit, in private, of thinking aloud, so that although it was 
easy enough to learn his real views by asking, a mere listener 
would be liable to mistakes. My impression, drawn from 
many a long talk, is that he considered the Old Testament 
as the Scriptures given to the Jews especially, and, as a 
whole, applicable to them and them only. He did not like 
the distinction commonly drawn between the moral and 
ceremonial law, and sometimes spoke, with an earnestness 
amounting to severity, of the constant use made of the Ten 
Commandments by Christians. He thought the Old Testa- 
ment very important, as explanatory and corroborative of 
the New — as a portion of the inspiration which came from 
God, etc., but binding on Christians only so far as repeated 
in the New Testament. He used to speak of the Mosaic law 
as fulfilled in Christ, and so having no further power what- 
ever ; and to say that we had no right to pick out this as 
moral and therefore obligatory, and the other as ceremonial, 


and so no longer demanding obedience. Practically we had 
nothing to do with the Old Testament laws. 

" I think he was of the opinion that the Bible, as a whole, 
without the living teacher, was of but little use, at least that 
it never ought to be regarded as a substitute. In the power 
of the Gospels to make their way among the heathen he had 
more faith. He had reason ; for a great many Burmans 
owed their awakening, if not their conversion, to the Gospel 
of Matthew, though not more, perhaps, than to the ' View ' 
and the 'Golden Balance.'* 

"I recollect, too, some remarks that he once made in this 
country about lazy Christians evading the obligation to 
preach the Gospel, or do good personally, by placing a Bible 
in the hands of those who would never read it ; which com- 
pared very well with my impression of his views afterward. 
Perhaps you will recollect a remark in one of the letters to 
Mr. Hough, expressing a fear ' that the Scriptures will be out 
of the press before there will be any church to read them.' 

" In comparing what he has written, what I have heard him 
say, and the course he pursued, I am led to the conclusion 
that, though he regarded the Old Testament Scriptures as 
much more important while engaged in translating and revis- 
ing, than afterward, the very study, the prayerful as well as 
critical examination necessary to the accomplishment of the 
work, led him by degrees to what some might consider a com- 
paratively extravagant estimate of the New Testament — 
especially the Gospels. He preached almost exclusively from 
the teachings of Christ, during his last years ; and when I 
once introduced some lessons from the Old Testament into 
my Bible-classes, he compared it to groping among shadows, 
when I might just as well have the noonday sun. 

" He spoke also of his favoring the distribution of so many 
Bibles, after his revision, as the greatest mistake he ever 

made ; though he said he was betrayed into it by Mr. 's 

wonderful reports and his own subsequent impression, that all 
Burmah was crying for books. He once said, in relation to 
a man who had stumbled on the Old Testament, and aposta- 

Burman tracts. 



tized : ' It is the last thing such a fellow as he ought even to 
have touched. I am more than ever convinced that our 
business is to propagate the Gospel, scatter the good news of 
salvation, and let everything else alone.' 

"With all this, he has told me that he felt, when making 
his translation, an almost overpowering sense of the awful- 
ness of his work, and an ever-present conviction that every 
word was as from the lips of God." 

Iq regard to the merits of his Burman Bible, Mr. Judson's 
estimate was very modest. He writes : 

" The bemi ideal of translation, so far as it concerns the po- 
etical and prophetical books of the Old Testament, I profess 
not to have attained. If I live many years, of which I have 
no expectation, I shall have to bestow much more labor upon 
those books. With the New Testament I am rather better 
satisfied, and the testimony of those acquainted with the 
language is rather encouraging. At least, I hope that I have 
laid a good foundation for my successors to build upon 

"As to the merits of the translation, I must leave others to 
judge. I can only say that, though I have seldom done any- 
thing to my own satisfaction, I am better satisfied with the 
translation of the New Testament than I ever expected to 
be. The language is, I believe, simple, plain, intelligible ; 
and I have endeavored, I hope successfully, to make every 
sentence a faithful representation of the original. As to the 
Old Testament, I am not so well satisfied. The historical 
books are, perhaps, done pretty well ; but the poetical and 
prophetical books are doubtless susceptible of much improve- 
ment, not merely in point of style, but in the rendering of 
difficult passages, about which the most eminent scholars are 
not yet agreed." 

How far his own humble view falls short of doing justice 
to the excellence of his monumental task, may be gathered 
from the following statement by the late Dr. Wayland : 

" From the incidental allusions to it in Dr. Judson's letters and jour- 
nals, we may form some conception of the labor which he spent upon 


this work. He had enjoyed the best opportunities which this country 
then afforded for the study of interpretation ; and his progress in this de- 
partment of knowledge had awakened the highest expectations of his 
future success as a translator. He had made himself familiar with the 
Burmese language to a degree never before attained by a foreigner. He 
determined, if it were possible, to transfer the ideas of the Holy Script- 
ures, from their original languages, into Burman, in such a manner that 
his work should need as little revision as possible by his successors. He 
had an intense desire for rendering perfect every labor which he under- 
took ; indeed, he said of himself, that one of his failings was 'a lust for 
finishing.' Hence he availed himself of all the means of information 
which the progress of biblical science, either in Germany or America, 
placed within his reach. As early as the visit of Mrs. Ann Judson to 
this country, his demand for books was large, and it was all for the very 
best, the foundation books. I well remember the pleasure with which I 
stripped my library of what I considered some of its choicest treasures, 
to supply a part of his most urgent necessities. Thus he continued until 
he had surrounded himself with a most valuable apparatus for carrying 
on his work in the manner which its importance deserved. 

" While, however, he thus sought for aid from all the sources of modern 
and ancient learning, it is manifest from the whole of his correspondence 
that he used them all with the discretion of a master mind. It was not 
in his power to substitute the working of other intellects for the working 
of his own. He weighed, with critical caution, every recension of the 
text. He adopted no interpretation unless either convinced of its truth, 
or else sure that it was the nearest approximation to the truth that could 
be made in the present state of our knowledge. In order to reach this 
result, no labor was too great, and no investigation too protracted. 
United with all this that was intellectual, there was, in his case, a mind 
deeply impressed with its own fallibility, and turning with unutterable 
longing to the Holy Spirit for guidance and illumination. The impor- 
tance of his work to millions of immortal souls was ever present to his 
view. He had been called by the providence of God to unfold to a whole 
nation, in their own language, the revelation of the Most High. He con- 
ceived it to be a momentous undertaking ; and a heavy weight would 
have rested on his soul if a single idea in the Scriptures had been ob- 
scurely rendered in consequence of haste, impatience, negligence, or cul- 
pable ignorance on the part of the translator. 

" But after he had satisfied himself as to the meaning of the original, 
a most difficult labor yet remained to be accomplished. It must be now 
transferred into a language peculiar and strongly idiomatic, and, more- 
over, a language destitute of terms in which to express the elementary 



and peculiar ideas of the New Testament. To furnisli liimself in this 
respect was the daily labor of his life. He read Burmese prose and 
poetry wherever he could find it. He was always surrounded by Bur- 
mese assistants and transcribers. As fast as his missionary brethren be- 
came acquainted with the language, he was incessantly calling upon 
them for corrections. They cheerfully aided him m this respect to the 
utmost of their power. Every correction or emendation he examined 
with the minutest care. Many — 1 think he says most — of them he 
adopted ; and none of them were rejected without the most careful and 
diligent inquiry. 

" The result of this able and indefatigable labor was such as might 
have been expected. Competent judges affirm that Dr. Judson's trans- 
lation of the Scriptures is the most perfect work of the kind that has yet 
appeared in India. On this subject it will not be inappropriate to intro- 
duce a few sentences from the pen of a gentleman high m rank in India, 
himself a distinguished linguist, and a proficient in the Burmese language : 

" 'To Judson it was granted, not only to found the spiritual Burman 
Church of Christ, but also to give it the entire Bible in its own vernacular, 
thus securing that Church's endurance and ultimate extension ; the instances 
being few or none, of that word, after it has once struck root in any tongue, 
being ever wholly suppressed. Divine and human nature alike forbid such 
a result ; for, when once it has become incorporated in a living tongue, 
holiness and love join hands with sin and weakness to perpetuate that 
word's life and dominion. We honor Wickliffe and Luther for their labors 
in their respective mother tongues ; but what meed of praise is due to Jud- 
son for a translation of the Bible, perfect as a literary work, in a language 
so foreign to him as the Burmese ? Future ages, under God's blessing, 
may decide this point, when his own forebodings, as he stood and pondered 
over the desolate, ruinous scene at Pugan, shall be fulfilled. 

" 'One and twenty years after his first landing at Rangoon, Judson fin- 
ished his translation of the whole Bible ; but, not satisfied with this first ver- 
sion, six more years were devoted to a revision of this great work ; and on 
the 24th of October, 1840, the last sheet of the new edition was printed off. 
The revision cost him more time and labor than the first translation ; for 
what he wrote in 1823 remained the object of his soul : " I never read a 
chapter without pencil in hand, and Griesbach and Parkhurst at my elbow ; 
and it will be an object to me through life to bring the translation to such 
a state that it may be a standard work." The best judges pronounce it to 
be all that he aimed at making it, and also, what with him never was an 
object, an imperishable monument of the man's genius. We may venture 
to hazard the opinion that as Lather's Bible is now in the hands of Protest- 
ant Germany, so, three centuries hence, Judson's Bible will be the Bible of 
the Christian churches of Burmah.' 


"The following extract from a letter written in November, 1852, by a 
missionary in Burmah, expresses very fully the estimation in which this 
version is held by those who are daily in the habit of using it, and of 
commending it to the natives : 

" 'The translation of the Holy Scriptures into the Burman language by 
the late Dr. Judson is admitted to be the best translation in India ; that is, 
the translation has given more satisfaction to his contemporaries and suc- 
cessors than any translation of the Bible into any other Eastern language 
has done to associate missionaries in any other parts of India. It is free 
from all obscurity to the Burmese mind. It is read and understood per- 
fectly. Its style and diction are as choice and elegant as the language it- 
self, peculiarly honorific, would afford, and conveys, doubtless, the mind of 
the Spirit as perfectly as can be.' 

"Judson might well have adopted the words of the blessed Eliot, the 
apostle to the Indian tribes, when he had finished his translation of the 
Scriptures into their dialect — ' Prayer and pains, with the blessing of 
God, can accomplish anything.' " 

Having diverged in order to give the reader a general 
idea of this work of translating the Bible into Burmese, we 
again take up the thread of Mr. Judson's life at the point 
where he has just finished the first rough draft in 1834." 
He entered with ardor upon the work of revision without 
neglecting, however, his favorite employments of teaching 
and preaching. A letter from Mrs. Judson to her husband's 
mother shows his ceaseless, every-day activity : 

" Mr. Judson preaches every Lord's day to a crowded as- 
sembly, and every evening to a congregation averaging thirty. 
We find our old chapel too small, and are about having a 
new one erected. The native assistants go about the town 
every day preaching the Gospel, and Mr. Judson holds a 
meeting with them every morning before breakfast, when he 
listens to their reports, prays with them, gives them instruc- 
tion, etc. Besides this, the care of the Burman Church, 
ninety-nine in number, devolves upon him, as does all the re- 
vision, superintendence of the press, etc., etc., etc. He ha5 
lately baptized eighteen persons — seven English soldiers, five 
Indo-Britons, three Burmans, one Hindoo, one Arracanese, 

* See page 405. 



and one Mahometan. The latter is faithful old Koo-cliil, 
the Hindoo cook mentioned in Mrs. Judson's ' Narrative.' 
The poor old man resisted long and stubbornly the truth, 
and we were sometimes almost discouraged about him. But 
divine grace was too mighty for him, and on last Lord's day 
we saw him bow beneath the Salwen's yielding wave, and 
rise, I trust, to ' newness of life.' Two others have applied 
for baptism, and there are many hopeful inquirers both 
among European and natives." 

The Rev. Dr. Malcolm, who visited Burmah in 1836, 
gives a glinnpse of the interior of Mr. Judson's zayat : 

"Our first Sabbath in this dark land was, of course, full of interest. 
In the morning we worshipped with the Burman congregation in the 
zayat. About seventy were present, nearly all Christians. Seldom have 
I seen so attentive and devout an audience. They sat, of course, on 
the floor, where mats, made of bamboo, were spread for their accommo- 
dation, a large bamboo, about eighteen inches from the floor, serving as 
a rest to the back. In prayer the Americans all knelt, and the rest 
leaned forward on their elbows, puttmg their palms together, and at the 
close of the petition, ail responded an audible Amen. Mr. J. preached 
with much apparent earnestness, and all listened with rapt attention. 
Several inquirers were present, some of whom applied for baptism." 

The same observant traveller has drawn a word-picture of- 
Mr. Judson's personal appearance at this time : 

" As my eye rested on this loved little company, it was sweet to con- 
template the venerable founder of the mission, sitting there to rejoice in 
the growth of the cause he had so assiduously and painfully sustained. 
His labors and sufferings for years; his mastery of the language; his 
translation of the whole Word of God ; and his being permitted now to 
be the pastor of a church containing over a hundred natives, make him 
the most interesting missionary now alive. What a mercy that he yet 
lives to devote to his people his enlarged powers of doing good ! And 
we may hope he will very long be spared. His age is but forty-seven ; 
his eye is not dim ; not a gray hair shows itself among his full auburn 
locks ; his moderate-sized person seems full of vigor ; he walks almost 
every evening a mile or two at a quick pace ; lives with entire temper- 
ance and regularity, and enjoys, in general, steadfast health. May a 
gracious God continue to make him a blessing more and more." 


From this point on, our narrative naturally assumes a 
more domestic character ; and we are permitted to see Mr. 
Judson's deep tenderness as a husband and a father. Some 
of the greatest objects of his life having been achieved, and 
his health beginning to decline, his restless spirit turned in- 
stinctively to family life for repose. On October 31, 1835, 
his heart was cheered by the birth of a daughter, whose 
name, Abby Ann,* associates her with his only sister, from 
whom he had parted so many years before, and also with 
her whom he left sleeping beneath the hopia-tree. While 
writing to his mother and sister, he mentions the birth of 
his child and betrays with what delight the care-wearied 
man, after his prolonged solitude, turned for rest to the 
amenities of home : 

"Maulmain, November i, 1835. 

" Since I have attained, in some measure, the great objects 
for which I came out to the East, and do not find it necessary 
to be so exclusively and severely engrossed in missionary 
labors as I have been for a long course of years, my thoughts 
and affections revert more frequently, of late, to the dear 
home where I was born and brought up ; and now especially, 
after having been childless many years, the birth of a daughter, 
and the revival of parental feelings, remind me afresh of the 
love with which my dear mother watched over my infancy, 
and of all the kindness with which she led me up from youth 
to man. And then I think of my earliest playmate, my dear 
sister, and delight to retrace the thousand incidents which 
marked our youthful intercourse, and which still stand, in 
the vista of memory, tokens of reciprocated brotherly and 
sisterly affection. Surely, I should have to call myself a 
most ungrateful son and brother, had I abandoned you for- 
ever in this world, as I have done, for any other cause than 
that of the kingdom of the glorious Redeemer. 

" It is a great comfort, however, that, though separated in 
this world, we are all interested in the covenant love of that 
Redeemer, and can therefore hope that we shaU spend our 

* Now the principal of a ladies' school in Minneapolis. 



eternity together, in His blissful presence. It is my particu- 
lar object, in writing at the present time, to engage your 
prayers for our little Abigail, that she may become early in- 
terested in the same divine love, and be one of our happy 
number in the bright world above. Her mother and myself 
both hope that the little circumstance of her being your 
namesake will tend to bring her more frequently to your re- 
membrance at the throne of grace, and secure your prayers 
in her behalf. 

"I alluded above to the attainment of the great objects of 
my missionary undertaking. I used to think, when first con- 
templating a missionary life, that, if I should live to see the 
Bible translated and printed in some new language, and a 
church of one hundred members raised up on heathen ground, 
I should anticipate death with the peaceful feelings of old 
Simeon. The Bible in Burmese will, I expect, be out of the 
press by the end of this year ; and — not to speak of several 
hundred Burmans and Karens baptized at different stations — 
the Burmese church in Maulmain, of which I am pastor, con- 
tains ninety-nine native members, and there will doubtless 
be several more received before the end of the year. Unite 
with me, my dear mother and sister, in gratitude to God, 
that He has preserved me so long, and, notwithstanding my 
entire unworthiness, has made me instrumental of a little 

In a letter to his step-son, who had by this time arrived in 
America, he alludes to the infant Abigail, and encloses a 
child's prayer in verse : 

" Maulmain, August 23, 1836. 

" I send you a little idol, that you may not forget what 
sort of gods they worship in this country, and your mother is 
sending you another. But, what is better, I send you a little 
book, called the * Only Son,' which I took so much pleasure 
in reading that I want to have you read it through two or 
three times. I am afraid you will forget how much youi 
mother loves you. This book will help you to remember. I 
am not much afraid that you will ever become like poor 


Jonah, who: e history you will find in the book. But when 
any companions shall attempt to persuade you to join them 
in doing some bad thing, remember poor Jonah, and remem- 
ber his poor mother, and remember how dreadfully your own 
mother would suffer, and how she would go down to the 
grave in sorrow, if you should become a bad boy. You can 
not tell how much she loves you. She talks about you every 
day ; and we never pray together without praying for you. 
And though it can not be that I should love you as much as 
your mother does, yet I love you very much, my dear George. 
And I am always sorry that I was so closely engaged in study, 
uhat I was able to spend but very little time with you, after 
we came up from Tavoy. When I think of that last pleasant, 
sad afternoon I carried you down to Amherst, and left you 
on board the Cashmere, I love you very much, and want to 
see you again. Perhaps we shall live to see you come out a 
minister of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. We some- 
times pray that, if it be the will of God, it may be so. 

" Your little sister Abigail is a sweet, fat baby. You would 
love her very much if you were here. Pray for her, that she 
may live, and may become a child of God." 

Prayer for Little George. 
"Remember, Lord, my mother dear, 
Who lives in distant heathen land ; 
By day and night wilt Thou be near, 
To guard her with Thy powerful hand. 

" And since another babe has come, 

To fill the place which once was mine 
In mother's arms to find a home. 
And soft on mother's breast recline, 

" O, listen to me from Thy throne. 
And let a brother's prayer prevail, 
To draw the choicest blessings down 
On little sister Abigail." 

When his son, Adoniram Brown Judson,* born April 7, 
1837, was almost a year old, Mr. Judson wrote to his own 

* Now a physician in New York City. 


mother and sister a letter in which, with playful tenderness, 
he alludes to both his children : 

" Maulmain, March 16, 1838. 

" I remember you in my prayers every day, and hope that 
you do not forget me, my wife, and dear little Abby and 
Adoniram. Yours of October 15, 1837, I received on the 
arrival of Mr. and Mrs. Stevens in the Rosabella, the 19th of 
last month. They gave me an account of their visit to 
Plymouth, and their interview with you both, and how you 
looked and what you said, and he remembered the exhorta- 
tion to * preach the three R's.' He remarked, that my mother 
was the very picture of the venerable, and she observed that 
everything about the house was kept in remarkably nice 
order. And they both thought that, from your appearance 
and remarks, you were in the enjoyment of much religious 
feeling. How I wish I could see you once more ! I send 
you a copy of the Burman New Testament, which may be 
a gratifying curiosity, if nothing more. 

" We have just carried Adoniram through the small-pox 
by inoculation. He had it very lightly, and is now quite re- 
covered. He is one of the prettiest, brightest children you 
ever saw. His mother says he resembles his uncle Elnathan. 
Abby is growing fast. She runs about, and talks Burman 
quite fluently, but no English. I am not troubled about her 
not getting English at present, for we shall have to send her 
home in a few years, and then she will get it of course. She 
attends family and public worship with us, and has learned 
to sit still and behave herself. But Fen, or Pwen, as the na- 
tives call him, when he is brought into the chapel, and sees 
me in my place, has the impudence to roar out Bah (as the 
Burmans call father), with such a stentorian voice, that his 
nurse is obliged to carry him out again. 

" Many thanks, dear sister, for your last present of fifty 
dollars, which I have received. I am obliged to look after 
the rupees a little more carefully now than when I had no 
little ones to provide for. 

"I suppose you take the Magazine ; so I do not introduce 
missionary affairs into my private letters." 


But Mr. Judson's iron purposes were not melted in the 
ease and quiet of home Hfe. He did not cease his efforts 
to save his poor Burmans. A few weeks after the birth of 
his son, he wrote : 

" My days are commonly spent in the following manner : 
the morning in reading Burman ; the forenoon in a public 
zayat with some assistant, preaching to those who call ; the 
afternoon in preparing or revising something for the press, 
correcting proof-sheets, etc. ; the evening in conducting wor- 
ship in the native chapel, and conversing with the assistants 
or other native Christians or inquirers." 

With what genuine satisfaction must such a worker have 
looked back upon his work of a quarter of a century in 
Burmah ! 

" July 20, 1S38. 

"I have lately," he writes, "had the happiness of baptizing 
the first Toung-thoo that ever became a Christian. I hope 
he will be the first-fruits of a plentiful harv^est. God has 
given me the privilege and happiness of witnessing and con- 
tributing a little, I trust, to the conversion of the first Bur- 
mese convert, the first Peguan, the first Karen, and the first 
Toung-thoo. Three of them I baptized. The Karen was 
approved for baptism ; but just then, brother Boardman re- 
moving to Tavoy, I sent the Karen with him, and he was 
baptized there. 

" There are now above a thousand converts from heathen- 
ism, formed into various churches throughout the country. 
And I trust that the good work will go on, until every vestige 
of idolatry shall be effaced, and millennial glor}' shall bless 
the whole land. The thirteenth day of this month finished 
a quarter of a century that I have spent in Burmah ; and on 
the eighth of next month, if I live, I shall complete the fiftieth 
year of my life. And I see that mother, if living, will enter 
on her eightieth year next December. May we all meet in 

Upon the completion of the fiftieth year of his life, and 



of his twenty-fifth year in Burmah, it is not strange that 
even his wiry physique should begin to give way beneath 
the strain. Disease fastened first upon» his lungs, entailing 
loss of voice and intense pain. Allusions in his letters at 
this time indicate his declining health : 

" On Passage from Maulmain to Calcutta, March 3, 1839. 

" I had been subject to a cough several months, and some 
kind of inflammation of the throat and lungs, which, for a 
time, almost deprived me of the use of my voice ; and lest 
the complaint should become confirmed consumption, I was 

advised to try a voyage to sea March 11. For two 

days I have had a return of soreness, accompanied with some 
cough. I fear that the atmosphere of this place, loaded with 
dust and smoke, will bring on a relapse. 

" My last informed you that I was on a passage to Cal- 
cutta for my health, by the direction of a physician and the 
recommendation of the brethren at the station. I derived 
great benefit from the voyage ; and my health continued 
generally to improve during my stay in Calcutta of three 
weeks, and on the return voyage, until the Sunday preceding 
my arrival here, when I made trial of my voice, by attempt- 
ing to conduct Burmese worship in my cabin, with the only 
native convert on board. And though the effort was very 
small, I was dismayed to find, in the course of the afternoon, 
the old soreness of lungs and tendency to cough come on ; 
and for three days I was rather worse than I had been for 
six weeks. Being at sea, however, I partially recovered from 
the relapse before I reached home, but am not so well as at 
my last date. It is a great mercy that I am able to use my 
voice in common conversation without much difficulty ; but 
when I shall be able to preach again I know not. The ap- 
proaching rainy season will probably decide whether my 
complaint is to return with violence, or whether I am to 
have a further lease of life. I am rather desirous of living, 
for the sake of the work and of my family ; but He who ap- 
points all our times, and the bounds of our habitation, does 
all things well ; and we ought not to desire to pass the ap- 
pointed limits My throat complaint, which seemed to 


be nearly removed by a voyage to Calcutta, has returned 
with fresh violence since the commencement of the rains, 
three days ago. Some advise me to take another voyage, as 
before ; but I have no heart to do so, thinking that the ben- 
efit will be but temporary. Others suggest a voyage home 
to America, and a residence there for a year or two ; but to 
this course 1 have strong objections. There are so many mis- 
sionaries going home for their health, or for some other cause, 
that I should be very unwilling to do so, unless my brethren 
and the Board thought it a case of absolute necessity. I 
should be of no use to the cause at home, not being able to 
use my voice. And lastly, I am in my fifty-first year. I 
have lived long enough. I have lived to see accomplished 
the particular objects on which I set my heart when I com- 
menced a missionary life. And why should I wish to live 
longer ? I am unable to preach ; and since the last relapse, 
the irritation of my throat is so very troublesome that I can 
not converse but with difficulty, or even sit at the table, as I 
have done to-day, and prepare copy for the press. My com- 
plaint, it is said, is very much like that of which the late 
Mrs. Osgood died — not common pulmonary consumption, 
but something in the throat, which puzzled even her attend- 
ing physicians, one of whom maintained, till near her death, 
that she was not in a consumption, and would recover. 

" My present expectation is, to use medicinal palliatives, 
and endeavor to keep along for a few months, until I see the 
present edition of the Bible completed, and then be ready to 
rest from my labors. But the very thought brings joy to my 
soul. For, though I am a poor, poor sinner, and know that 
I have never done a single action which can claim the least 
merit or praise, glory is before me. interminable glory, 
through the blood of the Lamb, the Lamb for sinners slain. 
But I shrink back again, when I think of my dear wife and 
darling children, who have wound round my once widowed, 
bereaved heart, and would fain draw me down from heaven 
and glory. And then I think, also, of the world of work be- 
fore me. But the sufficient answer to all is, The Lord will 


The voyage to which allusion is made in the foregoing 
extracts was begun February 19, 1839 5 ^^ was thought that 
a trip to Calcutta would restore his health. After an ab- 
sence of nearly two months, during which he had a delightful 
visit with the English Baptists of Calcutta and Serampore, 
he returned to Maulmain, his health somewhat improved. 
The sadness of this separation from the faithful wife and 
mother, whom he left behind at Maulmain, was intensified 
by the apprehension that he might die on the voyage. Mrs. 
Judson writes : 

"As soon as you left the house, I ran to your dressing- 
room, and watched you from the window. But you did not 
look up — oh, how I wished you would ! Then I hastened to 
the back veranda, and caught one last glimpse of you 
through the trees ; . . . . and I gave vent to my feelings in 
a flood of tears. 

" Then the children came around me, asking to go to 
the wharf, and the women looked their wishes ; and though I 
said * no ' to the little ones, I could not deny the others. 
After they were gone, I took all three of our darlings into 
your own little room, told them why you had gone away, and 
asked Abby Ann and Adoniram if they wished me to ask 
God to take care of papa, while he was gone. They said 
' yes '; and so I put Elnathan down on the floor to play, and, 
kneeling beside the other two, committed you and ourselves 

to the care of our heavenly Father How sweet is the 

thought that, when you go into the presence of God, you 
always pray for me, and for our dear children. We have 
family worship mornings in the sleeping-room. Abby and 
Pwen* kneel, one on each side of me, and after I have read 
and prayed I teach them the Lord's prayer. I make them 
repeat it distinctly, only two or three words at a time. 
They both sit at the table with me, Pwen occupying his 
beloved father's place. But these things do not beguile my 
loneliness. Oh, when shall I see you again, here, in youi 
old seat ? 

* Pwen, a flower. A name g^iven to Adoniram by the natives. 


" Your little daughter and I have been praying for you 
this evening. She is now in bed, and I am sitting by my 
study-table, where I spend all my time after evening wor- 
ship, except what is devoted to the children. I wish, my 
love, that you would pray for one object in particular — that 
I may be assisted in communicating divine truth to the 

minds of these little immortals At times the sweet 

hope that you will soon return, restored to perfect health, 
buoys up my spirit ; but perhaps you will find it necessary 
to go farther, a necessity from which I can not but shrink 
with doubt and dread ; or you may come back only to die 
with me. This last agonizing thought crushes me down in 
overwhelming sorrow. I hope I do not feel unwilling that 
our heavenly Father should do as He thinks best with us ; 
but my heart shrinks from the prospect of living in this sin- 
ful, dark, friendless world without you. But I feel that I 
do wrong to anticipate sorrows. God has promised strength 
ovXy ior to-day J and, in infinite mercy. He shuts the future 
from our view. I know that there is small ground for hope ; 
few ever recover from your disease ; but it may be that God 
will restore you to health, for the sake of His suffering cause. 
/ do not deserve it ; and I have often wondered that I should 
have been so singularly blessed as to possess that heart, 
which is far more precious than all the world beside. But 
the most satisfactory view of our condition is to look away 
to that blissful world, where separations are unknown. 
There, my beloved Judson, we shall surely meet each other ; 
and we shall also meet those loved ones who have gone be- 
fore us to that haven of rest. 

"After worship at the chapel, several of the native Chris- 
tians came in ; and we all mingled our tears together. They 
each in turn committed their absent pastor (father, they 
called you) to God, and prayed for your restoration to health, 
and speedy return to us, with a fervor which I felt at the 
time must prevail." 



Prayer to Jesus. 
" Dear Jesus, hear me when I pray, 
And take this naughty heart away ; 
Teach me to love Thee, gracious Lord, 
And learn to read Thy holy word." 

"Come, dearest Saviour, take my heart, 
And let me ne'er from Thee depart ; 
From every evil set me free, 
And all the glory be to Thee." 

For Abby Ann. 
" Look down on little brother dear. 
Safe may he sleep while Thou art near. 
Preserve his life to know Thy love. 
And dwell at last in heaven above." 

A Morning Prayer. 
" My waking thoughts I raise to Thee, 
Who through the night hast guarded me ; 
Keep me this day from every ill, 
And help me, Lord, to do Thy will." 

Duty to Otlm-s. 
" Love others as you love yourself ; 
And as you would that they 
Should do to you, do you to them. 
That is the golden way." 

TAe Dying Child. 
" ' O, grant that Christ and heaven be mine : 
What can I want beside ? 
Hark ! hear ye not that voice divine ? 

" My daughter, Christ and heaven are thine ! " 
And see ! the glorious portals shine ! ' 
She sweetly sang, and died." 

In a letter written to his mother and sister after his return 
to Maulmain, he betrays the fact that he was still far from 
perfect convalescence : 


" Mauljiain, August 9, 1839. 

" On this day I enter my fifty-second year. Fifty-one 
years have rolled over my head, twenty-six of which have 
been spent in this heathen land. I believe I write you more 
frequently than I used to. I am not so much driven in my 
studies as formerly, and the weakness and irritability of my 
lungs, though much better, do not yet suffer me to use my 
voice in public. Add to which that I have a family of young 
children growing up around me, so that my mind has be- 
come more domesticated, and returns with more readiness 
and frequency to the scenes of my own childhood. Twenty- 
seven years and a half have passed since we parted in 
Plymouth and in Boston, during which time my father and 
brother, and his family, and my first family, have all been 
swept away by death. You two only remain, and my present 
family, whom you have never seen. I sometimes feel con- 
cerned for my three little children, from the fact that I was 
advanced in life when they were born, and can not, there- 
fore, expect to live to see them grown up and happily settled 
before I shall be removed. Even if my present complaint 
should not terminate in consumption, I can hardly expect to 
hold out many more years in this climate ; so that I have 
the prospect of leaving them fatherless in the very bloom 
of youth, when they will especially need a father's support 
and care. However, I endeavor daily to commend them to 
God, and trust that, when I come to die, I shall be enabled 
to avail myself of the command and promise, 'Leave thy 
fatherless children ; I will preserve them alive ; and let thy 
widows trust in me' (Jer. xlix. 11). 

"Abby Ann has begun to go to school with Julia Osgood 
to Mrs. Simons, who, with her husband, is here from Ran- 
goon, expecting a war with Burmah, and has set up an Eng- 
lish school. Abby attends every forenoon, and just begins 
to read words of one syllable. Adoniram says, ' I want go 
school'; but he stays at home, and deports himself like a 
little man. Elnathan has been very ill. We thought we 
should lose him ; but he is now better, and begins to be 
bright and playful. 



" I do wish you could call in and make us a visit. We 
would try to make you so comfortable that you would not 
wish to return to old Plymouth. However, it is of little con- 
sequence where we spend the short remnant of life. Heaven 
is before us. Let us pray much, and live devoted to God, 
and we shall soon be united in that happy world where there 
is no dividing sea. 

" Can't you give me some account of your house, and 
furniture, and neighbors, and street, so that I can form a 
little idea how you are situated ? I have tried to glean some 
particulars from the Stevenses ; but transient passers can 
not be expected to give much satisfactory information. And 
when you write, leave a good place for the wafer of your 
letter, as you see I do ; otherwise there are sometimes words 
which I can not make out. I shall be glad when any of the 
little ones shall be able to conjure out a scrawl to their 
grandmother and aunt. Pray for them, that they may be 
early converted to God. Perhaps mother will add a line 
with her own hand when you write. Dear mother, I wish I 
could make you some return for all the trouble I once gave 
you. Yours ever, A. Judson." 

The native Christians at Maulmain were glad enough, after 
an interval of ten months, to hear again the voice of their 
beloved teacher, though he still spoke in feeble accents. 

Mrs. Judson writes to his mother: 

" I have during the past year suffered deep anxiety and 
gloomy foreboding on account of my dear husband's health. 
But God has been merciful beyond our fears, and so far 
restored him that he was able to preach last Lord's day, the 
first time for about ten months. His discourse was short, 
and he spoke low. I felt exceedingly anxious respecting his 
making the attempt, but he has experienced no ill effects 
from it as yet. How pleased you would have been to see 
the joy beaming from the countenances of the dear native 
Christians as they saw their beloved and revered pastor 
once more take the desk ! He applies himself very closely 
to study, though he is still far from well. He takes cold 


very easily, and still feels a slight uneasiness in the chest 
and left side. But he is so much better than he was, that I 
am comforted with the hope that he will soon be entirely 
restored to health." 

In a letter to a fellow-missionary he refers playfully to the 
birth of another son at the close of 1839. " Master Henry* 
came into notice the last day of the year ; but there was no 
earthquake or anything," and he alludes to the infant Henry 
in a letter of affectionate counsel to George, who was now 
twelve years old : 

" Your letter of January 9 gave us great pleasure, as it 
furnished proof of your proficiency in learning and of affec- 
tionate remembrance. Truly we remember you every day, 
especially in our prayers. Every morning we come around 
the family altar, your mother and myself, your sister Abby 
Ann, and your brothers Adoniram and Elnathan — Henry is 
too young to attend — and it is our earnest pra)^er that all 
our children may early become partakers of divine grace. 
I hope you will never neglect the duty of secret prayer. Never 
let a morning or evening pass without going into some room 
or place by yourself, and kneeling down and spending five or 
ten minutes at least in praying to God, in the name of Jesus 
Christ. Pray earnestly that you may have a new heart, and 
become a child of God, and that you may have satisfactory 
evidence that such is your happy state. 

"You observe in your letter that you are sometimes dis- 
turbed by frightful dreams, and we hear in other ways that 
your health is rather delicate. I warmly recommend you to 
rise every morning between light and sunrise, and take a 
quick walk of a mile or more, and to the top of some hill, if 
there be one in the vicinity that will suit your purpose ; and 
in the winter, when you may not be able to walk, get some 
equivalent exercise in cutting wood or some other work. This 
is the course that, with some intermissions and with various 
modifications, I have pursued for thirty-five years ; and tc 

* The child died shortly afterward at Serampore. 



this, under God, I ascribe the good health and the long life 
I have enjoyed in this unpropitious climate. Your mother 
frequently accompanies me over the Maulmain hills, and she 
enjoys much better health than she did at Tavoy, where she 
took no exercise, scarcely. Do, my dear George, take this 
matter into serious consideration. You may not like it at 
first. You will, perhaps, feel tired and sleepy for a few days, 
but when you become a little used to it, you will enjoy it ex- 
ceedingly. You will find your appetite improving, your 
health becoming firm, and your repose by night undisturbed. 
I have now given you the two best pieces of advice in my 
power. The first relates to your soul, the second to your 
body. Follow them, and be virtuous and happy. I hope to 
hear that you have professed religion, and devoted yourself 
to the ministry. Who knows but that I shall live to intro- 
duce you into missionary work in this country, where your 
own father labored, and where his remains are entombed. 
Follow your father, my dear George ; and we will all, ere 
long, be so happy in heaven together, even in the presence 
of the dear, lovely, glorious Saviour, the Friend of sinners, 
who died for us." 

Mrs. Judson's health also began to fail. She was attacked 
by the disease which finally terminated her life at St. Helena. 
The children, too, were all sick, so that a sea voyage was 
needed for the very preservation of the family. Mr. Judson 
reluctantly decided to embark with his wife and four chil- 
dren for Calcutta. The imperative reasons for the voyage 
he states to the Corresponding Secretary : 

" I have been in great distress for several months, and 
think I have not written a letter to America, except one to 
my mother and sister, since the beginning of the year. Early 
in March, Mrs. Judson fell into a decline, and became quite 
confined to her bed. Three of the children had been, for 
some months, ill ; and the two eldest were repeatedly at the 
point of death. The physicians, missionary brethren, and 
all my friends in Maulmain, became clamorous that I should 
try a voyage, as the only remaining means of saving the lives 


of the greater part of my family. But, extremely reluctant 
to incur the expense and encounter the breaking up which a 
voyage would occasion, I suffered myself to be beguiled by 
transient symptoms of convalescence, until, having lost two 
opportunities, and seeing most of my family in absolutely 
desperate circumstances, I consented to embrace the present 
opportunity, and embarked on the 26th ultimo." 

The voyage was short, but boisterous. 

" We had been out only four days," says Mrs. Judson, " when 
we struck on shoals, and for about twenty minutes were ex- 
pecting to see the large, beautiful vessel a wreck ; and then 
all on board must perish, or at best take refuge in a small 
boat, exposed to the dreary tempests. I shall never forget 
my feelings, as I looked over the side of the vessel that night, 
on the dark ocean, and fancied ourselves with our poor sick, 
and almost dying children, launched on its stormy waves. 
The captain tacked as soon as possible, and the tide rising 
at the time, we were providentially delivered from our ex- 
treme peril." 

When the family arrived at Serampore, just above Cal- 
cutta, they hired " a nice, dry house on the very bank of the 
river." But though the sea air had naturally revived the 
invalids, as soon as they came fairly under the hot climate 
of Bengal they all suffered a relapse. What was to be 
done? They met at Calcutta a pious Scotch sea captain 
whose vessel was going to the Isle of France, and from 
thence to Maulmain. He made the kind proposal to take 
the whole family on such terms that this circuitous course 
would cost them no more than to go directly to Maulmain. 
They dreaded the voyage in the month of August, which is 
a very dangerous month in the Bay of Bengal, but there 
seemed to be no other alternative. So Mr. Judson accord- 
ingly accepted Captain Hamlin's kind offer, and decided to 
set sail for that island, to which he had repaired nearly 
thirty years before when he had been driven from Bengal 


by the East India Company. But before leaving Serampore 

the fond parents were compelled to lay in the grave the 

form of little Henry, their youngest child. Mr. Judson 

thus describes this mournful event in a letter to his mother 

and sister : 

" Serampore, Au^itst i, 184 1. 

" I wrote you on the 24th ultimo. Perhaps this letter will 
go by the same conveyance. Wife went down to Calcutta, 
for a few days, to do a little business, leaving the two younger 
children with me. On the 27th dear little Henry's disorder 
took an unfavorable turn. He had derived less benefit from 
the voyage and change than the other children, being too 
young to have his mind engaged and diverted, which greatly 
contributes to bodily recovery ; and being considered less 
dangerously ill than the others, had, perhaps, less attention 
paid him than was desirable. His disorder had continued to 
hold on, though at times greatly mitigated. On the 28th he 
grew worse, and I wrote down for his mother, and in the 
evening began to despair of his life. On the 29th the doctor 
gave him up ; and my only prayer was, that he might not die 
before his mother arrived. Oh, what heavy hours now passedl 
She arrived with the other children in the night, about two 
o'clock, and sprang to the cradle of the little sufferer, and 
could not think that he was really in a dying state. I let hci 
take her own way, and she contrived to give him a little wine 
and water, which, however, could be of no avail ; and when 
morning came, the marks of death on the countenance were 
too visible for even the unwilling mother to refuse to ac- 
knowledge. We spent the day hanging over our dying babe, 
and giving him some liquid, for which he was always call- 
ing, to relieve his burning thirst. When I said, * Henry, my 
son,' he would raise his sinking eyelids, and try to stretch 
out his little arms for me to take him ; but he could not bear 
to be held more than a moment before he would cry to be 
laid down again. Oh, how restless did he spend his last day, 
rolling from side to side, and crying out, ^Nahnee,' his imper- 
fect pronunciation of naughty, by which term he was in the 
habit of expressing his disapprobation or dissatisfaction. In 

434 ^^^^ L^P^ '^P ADONIRAM JUDSON. 

the afternoon he became convulsed for a few moments, ard 
our hearts were rent to witness the distortion of his dear 
little mouth and face. After that he was more quiet ; but 
toward evening he probably had some violent stroke of death, 
for he suddenl}^ screamed out in great pain. In the evening 
he had another turn of convulsion. His mother lay down by 
his side, and, worn out with fatigue, fell fast asleep. About 
nine o'clock I had gone into another room, and was lying 
down, when a servant called me. He began to breathe loud, 
indicative of the closing scene. I let the mother sleep — sat 
down by his side, and presently called, as usual, ' Henry, my 
son'; upon which he opened his eyes, and looked at me 
more intelligently and affectionately than he had been able 
to do for some time ; but the effort was too great, and he 
ceased to breathe. I instantly awoke his mother ; he then 
gave two or three expiring gasps, and it was all over. I 
stripped the little emaciated body, and washed it, while his 
mother, with the help of a servant, made a suitable gown ; 
and by eleven o'clock he was laid out in the same cradle in 
which he died. For a few days Elnathan had been ill with 
a severe cough and fever, and my attention had been divided 
between the two. After poor Henry was quiet, we turned 
all our attention to the others. The two elder children were 
much better. Next' morning we had a coffin made, in which 
we placed our dear child ; and sometimes, when other avo- 
cations permitted, looked at him through the day. And oh, 
how sweet was his dead face ! though there was an expres- 
sion of pain lurking in some of the features. At night a few 
of our friends came together, and we carried the coffin to the 
mission burial-ground, where, after a prayer by Mr. Mack, 
the body was deposited in its final resting-place. Farewell, 
my darling son Henry. While thy little body rests in the 
grave, I trust that thy spirit, through the grace of Jesus 
Christ, is resting in Paradise. We intend to order a small 
monument erected with this inscription: 'The grave of 
Henry Judson, youngest son of the Rev. A. Judson, of Maul- 
main, who died July 30, 1841, aged one year and seven 



" Elnathan was very ill last night, and is not much better 
to-day. We tremble for him. The vessel in which we are 
going to the Isle of France, we hear, is to remain a few days 
longer, so that I will add a further line before leaving. 

" Calcutta, Augtist 6. We have come down to this place 
with a view to embarking ; but the vessel is still detained. 
Elnathan appears to be very ill, with a complication of com- 
plaints. We are in great distress about him. The two elder 
children continue better. 

" In haste, yours affectionately, A. Judson. 

^'At/gtist 13. We are still waiting the moving of the ves- 
sel, but shall positively go on board the i6th. Elnathan is 
much better, so that we hope the danger of losing him is 
past. The other children continue to improve. Farewell 
for the presexit. 

" P. S. — I enclose a small lock of poor dear Henry's hair. 
We are very sad whenever we think of that bright, sweet 
boy. It was the will of God that he should be taken from us ; 
so we must be resigned, and I hope that he is now waiting 
to welcome us to the Paradise where, we trust, he has safely 
arrived. Two vessels have just come in from America, but 
we have got nothing from you. Perhaps there may be a let 
ter or some box which will be forwarded to Maulmain." 

Bidding farewell to the newly-made grave, Mr. and Mrs. 
Judson, with their sick children, embarked on board the 
Rmnsay, Captain Hamlin. The voyage to the Isle of France 
occupied about six weeks, and as the monsoon was drawing 
to a close, the storms were very frequent, sudden and 
severe. Mr. Judson writes under date of August 22, 1841 : 

" Dear Mrs. H. : We are on board the Rai7isay, pitching 
most fearfully. We have been lying several days waiting for 
the weather, and have now got up anchor, so that I am writ- 
ing a line or two to send back by the pilot." 

And Mrs. Judson thus records their experience : 

" Could you now look on our dismasted vessel you would 


indeed say, she is a * ship in distress.' For the last three 
days we have had the most frightful squalls I ever expe- 
rienced ; and yesterday two top-masts, a top-gallant mast, 
and the jib-boom, with all their sails, Avere torn away, 
causing a tremendous crash. For the last two nights I have 
not closed my eyes to sleep, and I find it quite impossible to 
sleep now. I have, therefore, taken my pen, though the 
vessel rolls so that I fear my writing will be quite illegible. 
Do not infer from anything I have said that I am suffering 
from terror ; my wakefulness has been occasioned only by 
bodily discomfort, arising from the violent tossing of the 
vessel. I thank God that I feel perfectly calm and resigned ; 
and I can leave myself and my dear family in His hands, with 
a feeling of perfect peace and composure." 

But this voyage, severe as it was, proved very beneficial 
to the invalids, and, after spending a month in Port Louis, 
they returned to Maulmain, where they arrived on Decem- 
ber lO, in greatly improved health. 

Captain Hamlin declined to receive any compensation for 
the passage from Calcutta to Maulmain via the Isle of 
France, although a fair charge for the double voyage would 
have been two thousand rupees, or about one thousand 
dollars. The four hundred rupees which Mr. Judson sent 
him, merely as an expression of his gratitude, were returned, 
the noble sailor saying that he considered it a privilege to 
have been able to show some kindness to the servants of 
Christ. Mr. Judson wrote at once to the Board, suggesting 
that they should send to the captain a formal letter of 
thanks, together with a present, " say of a set of the ' Com- 
prehensive Commentary,' " to be addressed to Captain 
Thomas Hamlin, Jr., Greenock, Scotland. The following 
interesting incidents relating to this voyage found their 
way into a pamphlet, compiled by "John Simpson, Minister 
of the Gospel, Greenock ": 

" After remaining about four weeks in Bombay, the Ramsay sailed for 
Maulmain, in Burmah, and from thence to Calcutta. During these pas- 



sages some favorable impressions seemed to have been produced in the 
minds of the crew; and on their arrival at Calcutta they conducted 
themselves with greater propriety than at any of the former ports ; here 
they regularly attended the floating chapel. Whilst the ship was at Cal- 
cutta, the captain paid a visit to the Baptist missionary establishment at 
Serampore. There he fell in with the indefatigable missionary. Dr. 
Judson, from Burmah, who was at Serampore with his family for the 
improvement of their health. As the Rainsay was shortly to sail for the 
Island of Mauritius, and from thence to Maulmain — Dr. Judson's resi- 
dence—Captain Hamlin kindly offered them a passage, in the hope that 
it would be conducive to the object they had in view. Having accepted 
the offer thus generously made to him and his family. Dr. Judson felt a 
strong desire to be useful to the seamen, in whose dangers he was about 
to share. He made it a matter of prayer to God that he might be in- 
strumental in turning some of them from the error of their ways; and, 
before going on board, expressed a conviction that God had heard him, 
and that He would answer him in communicating His grace to some, if 
not to all, of the crew. After putting to sea, worship was conducted by 
Dr. Judson and the captain alternately; but on the Sabbaths the whole 
of the services were conducted by the doctor. Possessing all his mental 
vigor, and his ardent love for souls having suffered no abatement, he 
availed himself of these opportunities, in addition to private instruction, 
to promote the great end he had in view, and for which he had so earnest- 
ly prayed, previously to his embarking on board the Ra?iisay. His man- 
ner of address was of the most touching description, and seldom failed 
in making the big tear roll down the weather-beaten cheeks of his hardy, 
auditors. It soon became apparent that he was not laboring in vain, nor 
spending his strength for nought. Before their arrival at the Mauritius, 
three of the seamen gave pleasing evidence of being converted to God. 
During their stay at the Mauritius, public worship was held on board 
every Sabbath, and was well attended, both by seamen and landsmen. 
Religion was in a languid state amongst the inhabitants generally. 
There were, however, a few who seemed concerned for the advancement 
of Christ's kingdom, and by them it had been in contemplation to fit up 
a seaman's chapel. They had even gone so far as to make application 
to the late benevolent governor. Sir Lionel Smith, for the use of an old 
ship lying there, belonging to Government ; the application had been 
favorably received ; still nothing had been done toward effecting the 
object they had in view, till the captain of the Ramsay, hearing how 
matters stood, set about raising subscriptions toward fitting up the said 
vessel as a Bethel ; he likewise presented another memorial to the gov- 
ernor, but was obliged to leave at this time, without seeing the work 


" Leaving the Island of Mauritius, their next port of destination was 
Maulmain, in Burmah. On the passage, the usual religious services 
were attended to ; and, in addition to the ordinary meetings, an extra 
one, for prayer and exhortation, was held every Wednesday evening, and 
conducted by the seamen who had professed the name of Christ. This 
meeting was the means of effecting much good. Amongst other things 
which came before their minds was the subject of baptism. By a diligent 
perusal of the word of God, and the instructions of Dr. Judson, the new 
converts were convinced that baptism by immersion was the Scriptural 
mode, and that it was their duty, as believers in Christ, to be baptized in 
His name. Hence they determined, with the captain — who had doubts 
regarding the truth of infant baptism, before his leaving home — to be 
baptized on the first convenient opportunity after reaching Maulmain. 
Accordingly, on the first Sabbath after their arrival, the captain, mate, 
and two of the seamen, together with a Burmese female, were ' buried 
with Christ by baptism,' in presence of a large assemblage of natives and 
others, who appeared to take a deep interest in all the solemn services 
that were attended to. The ordinance was administered by Dr. Judson. 

" At Maulmain there are two Baptist churches — one for the natives, 
which is supplied by Dr. Judson ; the other for Europeans, etc., which is 
supplied by assistant missionaries. Both churches were in a flourishing 
condition. The missionary work was being zealously prosecuted, and 
many of the heathen were renouncing their idols and embracing the 
Saviour. The labors of the missionaries had been eminently successful 
among the Karen tribe. Whilst at Maulmain, the captain and mate paid 
a visit to one of the villages of these interesting people. On their arrival 
they found the chief — who acts also as their spiritual teacher — with 
nearly the whole of the 'villagers, busily engaged in their rice-fields. On 
\.\\&gOf7g being sounded, which was the signal for the arrival of the mis- 
sionaries, they flocked into the native chapel ; and, after greeting affec- 
tionately their teachers, they turned to the captain and mate, and asked 
their chief, ' Do these men love Christ ? ' Being answered in the affirma- 
tive, they received them with much cordiality, and, on their departure, 
loaded their boat with fruit, etc., etc. 

" The Ramsay remained at Maulmain eight weeks, during which time 
the intercourse of the crew with the Christians on shore was of the most 
pleasing description. The evening before they sailed from this place, 
Dr. Judson delivered a farewell address on board the Ramsay, which 
produced a deep and solemn impression. All were melted into tears, as 
was the case with Dr. Judson himself. He alluded to the providential 
manner in which he had been brought amongst them, the many happy 
and profitable hours he had spent in their society, the converting grace 



of God which they had all been privileged to witness, and some to expe- 
rience ; and those who professed the faith he exhorted ' that with purpose 
of heart they would cleave unto the Lord '; and those who had still held 
out against the entreaties of melting mercy he besought to be reconciled 
to God. After engaging in solemn prayer for all on board, and giving 
them his parting blessing, he retired, whilst, like Paul's Christian breth- 
ren at Ephesus, ' they sorrowed most of all for the words which he spake, 
that they should see his face no more.' " 

Soon after Mr. and Mrs. Judson and their three children 
returned to Maulmain, Henry Hall Judson* was born 
July 8, 1842. He was named after the little boy whom they 
had left in his lonely grave at Serampore. 

About this time Mr. Judson heard of the death of his 
venerable mother, who departed this life at Plymouth, 
Mass., in the eighty-third year of her age. His father and 
brother Elnathan had died before ; and his sister Abigail 
was now left alone at Plymouth. 

And now there was pressed upon Mr. Judson a great task, 
and one from which he had long shrank. The Board at 
home urgently desired him to undertake the compilation of 
a Burman dictionary. His heart longed to be engaged in 
direct individual work, winning souls to Christ. He had no 
relish for the seclusion which the work of translation re- 
quired. Years before, he had written : 

" In regard to a dictionary, I do not see how I can possibly 
undertake it. And if you consider my situation a moment, 

you will, I am persuaded, be of my opinion Must this 

population of twenty thousand be left to perish without any 
effort to save them, except what is made by a few very ineffi- 
cient native assistants ? Ought there not to be a preaching 
missionary in this great, growing place ? " 

But no one else seemed qualified for this task, and the 
failure of his voice imperatively forbade his preaching. And 
so, with the utmost reluctance, he turned toward a work 

* At present living in Plymouth, Mass. 


which was to occupy a large part of his time during the rest 
of his Hfe. Under date of April 17, 1843, 1^^ writes, " I am 
chiefly occupied in the Burman dictionary, at the repeated 
suggestion of the Board," and he addressed the following 
letter to the Corresponding Secretary : 

" MAULMAiy, July 13, l8<l3. 

" I never think without some uneasiness of the infrequency 
of my communications to the Board ; and if I had not an 
apology at hand, I should feel self-condemned. A person 
employed in direct missionary work among the natives, es- 
pecially if his employ is somewhat itinerant, can easily make 
long and interesting journals. The first epithet, at least, 
may be applied to some of my earlier communications. But 
it has been my lot, for many years past, to spend most of my 
time over the study-table ; and my itinerating has scarcely 
extended beyond the limits of my morning walks and the 
precincts of the mission inclosure. Several years were spent 
in translating the Bible, and several more in revising it and 
carrying the last edition through the press. After which, in 
May last year, I commenced a dictionary of the language, a 
work which I had resolved and re-resolved never to touch. 
But it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps. The 
Board and my brethren repeatedly urged me to prepare a 
dictionary, the one printed in 1826 being exceedingly imper- 
fect ; and as Burmah continued shut against our labors, and 
there were several missionaries in this place, I concluded that 
I could not do better than to comply. 

"We are apt to magnify the importance of any under- 
taking in which we are warmly engaged. Perhaps it is from 
the influence of that principle, that, notwithstanding my 
long-cherished aversion to the work, I have come to think it 
very important ; and that, having seen the accomplishment 
of two objects on which I had set my heart when I first came 
out to the East, the establishment of a church of converted 
natives and the translation of the Bible into their language, 
I now beguile my daily toil with the prospect of compassing 
a third, which may be compared to a causeway, designed to 


facilitate the transmission of all knowledge, religious and 
scientific, from one people to the other. 

" It was my first intention to make a single work, Burmese 
and English ; but as I proceeded, I discovered many reasons 
for constructing a double work, in two parts, the firsf English 
and Burmese, the second Burmese and English. I hope, by 
daily, uninterrupted labor, to have the whole ready for the 
press by the end of 1845. Not, indeed, that I count on 
living so long. Above thirty years spent in a tropical climate 
— to-day is the twenty-ninth anniversary of my arrival in 
Burmah — leaves but little ground to build future plans upon. 
But I feel it my duty to plod on, while daylight shall last, 
looking out for the night, and ready to bequeath both the 
pl-odding and the profit to any brother who shall be willing 
to carry on and complete the work when I shall have ob 
tained my discharge." 



1 84 5-1 846. 

While thus plodding on in his gigantic task of com- 
pihng a Burman dictionary, Mr. Judson found it necessary 
to embark on a voyage to his native land. Thirty-two 
years had elapsed since the memorable nineteenth of Feb- 
ruary, 18 12, when he and Mrs. Judson had stood on the 
deck of the brig Caravan, and watched the rocky shores of 
New England fade out of their sight. The young man of 
twenty-four had become a veteran of fifty-seven. Again 
and again he had been invited by the Board to revisit his 
beloved native land and recruit his wasting forces, but he 
had steadily declined. More than five years before, he had 
received the following urgent invitation from the Corre- 
sponding Secretaiy : 

" Baptist Missionary Rooms, Boston, December 18, 1839. 

"My dear Brother: At the meeting- of the Board on the 2d 
instant, your letter to Mr. Lincoln, of May i, having been read, it was 
unanimously resolved to invite you to revisit this country, with a view to 
the restoration of your health. The invitation was intended to extend to 
your wife and children, should you judge it advisable for them to accom- 
pany you. 

" This resolution, it gives me much pleasure to add, was adopted not 
only with great cordiality, but with many expressions of the kindest 
interest and sympathy, and with the universal desire that, if your health 
should continue as it was at the date of your letter, you would comply 
with it by the earliest opportunity. It is due not only to you, but to us, 
and to the general cause of missions, that all suitable means be employed 



to re-establish your health, and no considerations of expense or obloquy, 
incurred by the frequent return of missionaries, should deter you from 
adopting- them. 

" You will perceive that, in making this proposal, the Board have no 
respect to the good which might result from your personal intercourse 
with them, or others who are interested in missions, but which, they 
trust, would be of great service to them and to the cause at large. The 
main object would be gained if, by a double voyage, your health should 
be so far restored as to enable you to continue your labors at the desk, 
and for at least a few years longer supervise the publication of the 
Scriptures and such other works as your knowledge of Burman and of the 
Burmese character peculiarly qualify you to prepare. 

"May the God of missions guide you by His good Spirit in all your 
way, and of His great goodness restore and preserve your health and 
usefulness for a long time yet to come. 

" Affectionately and truly yours, 

" S. Peck, For. Sec." 

Nevertheless the faithful missionary had worked patiently 
on, refusing to leave his field. At last, however, a return 
to America became imperative in order to preserve Mrs. 
Judson's hfe. After the birth of two children, Charles,* 
born .December i8, 1843, and Edward, born December 27, 
1844, her health rapidly declined. She had taken several 
short journeys along the coast without receiving any per- 
manent benefit. On one of these trips she was accompanied 
by her eldest child, Abby, who was about ten years old, 
and also by the little invalid, Charlie. Mr. Judson with his 
four boys, Adoniram, Elnathan, Henry, and the infant 
Edward, were left behind at Maulmain. A glimpse of the 
missionary's home-life is afforded in a letter which Abby 
received on this occasion from her absent father : 

" Maulmain, March 9, 1845. 
" My dear Daughter : Your letters to me and your broth- 
ers, together with the shells from Mergui, arrived this after- 
noon in the Burmese box, which mamma sent by the steamer. 
The boys are delighted with the shells, and Henry has 
picked out some for his own ; and they have agreed to give 

Died in infancy. 


me for my share the large coral shell. They have already 
written some letters to you, and mamma, and Charlie, which 
I shall send by return of steamer ; and perhaps they will 
add some more, as this is such a favorable opportunity. It 
is now between eight and nine o'clock in the evening. I 
have had a little meeting with Adoniram and Elnathan, and 
now they are asleep. Edward has become a fat little fellow ; 
I am sure you would not know him again. He begins to 
look pleased when he is played with. But he has not yet 
made any inquiries about his absent mother and sister. In- 
deed, I doubt much whether he is aware that he has any 
such relatives. Or if he ever exercises his mind on such 
abstruse topics, perhaps he fancies that black Ah-mah is his 
mother, since she nurses him, and does not know what a fair, 
beautiful, fond mother he has at Mergui, who thinks of him 
every day. However, when he gets larger, we will tell him 
all about these matters. 

" I am getting the carpenters to make a new cot for you, 
longer than your old one. That I have given to x^doniram, 
and his to Elnathan. Both the kittens are dead, and the 
old yellow cat has been missing for several days. She was 
very thin, and apparently very ill, when we last saw her. So 
I suppose she crept away into some secret place and lay down 
and died. Alas ! poor pussy ! 

" I pray every day that somewhere during your travels 
with dear mamma you may receive a blessing from God, so 
that you will return a true Christian, and set such an ex- 
ample before your brothers as will induce them to try to 
follow your steps. Think of the dear Saviour every day, 
and frequently lift up your heart in fervent prayer to God, 
that He will give you His converting, sanctifying grace, and 
make you His own child. Try to subdue every evil passion, 
and avoid all bad conduct. If you trust hi the Saviour and try 
to be good, He will 7?iake you good. In your daily deportment 
and intercourse with others, remember these two lines : 

" ' Sweet in temper, face, and word. 
To please an ever-present Lord.' 

" Your affectionate father. 
" Love to dear Charlie." 


But, as has already been stated, these short trips along 
the Tenasserim coast* proved quite unavailing. Mrs. Jud- 
son's condition was almost desperate, and the only hope of 
saving this precious life lay in a voyage to America. Her 
husband writes sadly to the Corresponding Secretary: 

"The hand of God is heavy upon me. The complaint to 
which Mrs. Judson is subject has become so violent that it 
is the unanimous opinion of all the medical men, and indeed 
of all our friends, that nothing but a voyage beyond the 
tropics can possibly protract her life beyond the period of a 
few. weeks, but that such a voyage will, in all probability, 
insure her recovery. All medical skill has been exhausted. 
She has spent six weeks with our commissioner and his lady 
in a trip down the coast, touching at Tavoy and Mergui, 
and returned weaker and nearer the grave than when she 
set out. She is willing to die, and I hope I am willing to 
see her die, if it be the Divine will ; but though my wife, it 
is no more than truth to say that there is scarcely an indi- 
vidual foreigner now alive who speaks and writes the Bur- 
mese tongue so acceptably as she does ; and I feel that an 
effort ought to be made to save her life. I have long fought 
against the necessity of accompanying her ; but she is now 
so desperately weak, and almost helpless, that all say it 
would be nothing but savage inhumanity to send her off 
alone. The three younger children, the youngest but three 
months and a half old, we must leave behind us, casting 
them, as it were, on the waters, in the hope of finding them 
after many days. The three elder, Abby Ann, Adoniram, 
and Elnathan, we take with us, to leave in their parents' 
native land. These rendings of parental ties are more severe, 
and wring out bitterer tears from the heart's core, than any 
can possibly conceive who have never felt the wrench. But 
I hope I can say with truth that I love Christ above all ; and 
I am striving, in the strength of my weak faith, to gird up 
my mind to face and welcome all His appointments. And 
I am much helped to bear these trials by the advice and 

* See Map II. 


encouragcn^::nt of all my dear brethren and sisters of llie 

" It is another great trial to leave my dear church and 
people. I never knew till now how much I loved them, and 
how much they loved me. 

" ' And 'tis to love, our farewells owe 
All their emphasis of woe.' 

" But I leave them in the hands of my dear brethren, and 
there are no persons in the world to whom I should be so 
willing to commit so dear a charge 

"Another great trial, not so much as it regards feeling as 
it regards the anticipated result of long-protracted labor, is 
the interruption which the heavy work of the Burmese dic- 
tionary, in which I have been engaged for two or three years, 
must sustain ; and such is the state of my manuscripts, that 
if I should die before this work is completed, or at least car- 
ried forward to a much more advanced stage, all my previous 
labor would be nearly or quite lost. But I am endeavoring 
to obviate this difficulty in some degree, by taking with me 
mv two assistants in that department, whose hearts God 
has graciously inclined to leave their families and accom- 
pany me. They are both Christians, the one a settled char- 
acter, a convert of long standing, formerly a Government 
writer in Rangoon ; the other a nephew of the late premier 
of the court of Ava, a person of noble extraction, and though 
not a tried Christian, I hope a sincere one. And it is my 
purpose to devote some hours every day, whether on the sea 
or land, to the work mentioned. I shall be induced to per- 
severe in this purpose while in America, from the fact that I 
am unable to travel about the country as an agent and 
preach in the English language. The course that I have 
uniformly pursued, ever since I became a missionary, has 
been rather peculiar. In order to become an acceptable and 
eloquent preacher in a foreign language, I deliberately ab- 
jured my own. When I crossed the river, I burned my ships. 
For thirty-two years I have scarcely entered an English 
pulpit or made a speech in that language. Whether I have 


pursued the wisest course, I will not contend ; and how far 
I have attained the object aimed at, I must leave for others 
to say. But whether right or wrong, the course I have taken 
can not be retraced. The burned ships can not now be 
reconstructed. From long desuetude, I can scarcely put 
three sentences together in the English language.* 1 must 
therefore beg the Board to allow me a quiet corner, where 
I can pursue my work with my assistants undisturbed and 

" This request I am induced to urge from the further con- 
sideration that my voice, though greatly recovered from the 
affection of the lungs, which laid me aside from preaching 
nearly a year, is still so weak that it can only fill a small 
room ; and whenever I attempt to raise it above the con- 
versational tone, the weak place gives way, and I am quite 
broken down again for several weeks. I hope, therefore, that 
no one will try to persuade me to be guilty of such impru- 
dence while in America ; but since there are thousands of 
preachers in English, and only five or six Burmese preachers 
in the whole world, I may be allowed to hoard up the rem- 
nant of my breath and lungs for the country where they arc 
most needed." .... 

On April 26, 1845, Mr. and Mrs. Judson, with the three 
elder children, Abby, Adoniram, and Elnathan, embarked 
on the ship Paragon bound for London. They were accom- 
panied by two Burman assistants, as it was Mr. Judson's 
purpose to spend a portion of each day upon the Burman 
dictionary. The three younger children, Henry, Charles, 
and Edward, as has been said, were left behind in the ten- 
der care of the missionaries at Maulmain. The first part of 
the voyage was so rough that the vessel sprang aleak, and 
the captain determined to put in at the Isle of France ; and 
on July 5th the ship, with its precious freight, arrived at 
Port Louis. Mrs. Judson had so far improved in health 
that the two missionaries formed the purpose of separating, 

* In public speech. 


as it was thought that Mrs. Judson would now be able to 
continue the voyage to America alone, while Mr. Judson 
should return to his work in Maulmain, It would be hard 
to find a parallel for this instance of heroic self-sacrifice. 
Of these two returning missionaries, one was a poor, shat- 
tered invalid, consenting to forego her beloved husband's 
society and to take the long westward journey in solitude ; 
the other relinquishing the prospect of again seeing his 
native land after an absence of thirty-three years, and leav- 
ing the side of his sick wife the moment his presence 
seemed no longer indispensable, that he might resume his 
labors among the perishing Burmans. It was under these 
circumstances that Mrs. Judson wrote the pathetic lines 
which shall be recited for a memorial of her wheresoever 
the. Gospel shall be preached in the whole world : 

" We part on this green islet, love, — 
Thou for the eastern main, 
I for the setting sun, love, 
O, when to meet again I 

" My heart is sad for thee, love. 
For lone thy way will be ; 
And oft thy tears will fall, love. 
For thy children and for me. 

" The music of thy daughter's voice 
Thou'lt miss for many a year ; 
And the merry shout of thine elder boys 
Thou'lt list in vain to hear. 

" When we knelt to see our Henry die, 
And heard his last, faint moan, 
Each wiped the tear from other's eye ; 
Now each must weep alone. 

" My tears fall fast for thee, love ; 
How can I say. Farewell ! 
But go ; thy God be with thee, love, 
Thy heart's deep grief to quell. 


"Yet my spirit clings to thine, love ; 
Thy soul remains with me. 
And oft we'll hold communion sweet 
O'er the dark and distant sea. 

" And who can paint our mutual joy, 
When, all our wanderings o'er, 
We both shall clasp our infants three 
At home, on Burmah's shore ! 

" But higher shall our raptures glow. 
On yon celestial plain. 
When the loved and parted here below 
Meet, ne'er to part again. 

" Then gird thine armor on, love, 
Nor faint thou by the way, 
Till Buddh shall fall, and Burmah's sons 
Shall own Messiah's sway." 

The two native assistants were therefore sent back to 
Maulmain, and Mr, Judson expected to follow them as soon 
as he had seen Mrs. Judson fairly on board ship for Amer- 
ica. But she experienced a severe relapse, wliich reduced 
her strength lower than ever before ; and Mr. Judson was 
soon convinced that it would be impossible for him to leave 
her, and, although he bitterly regretted the loss of his assist- 
ants, he felt obliged, after spending three weeks in the Isle 
of France, to re-embark with Mrs. Judson. They took pas- 
sage with Captain Codman, of the ship Sophia Walker, which 
was bound directly for the United States. On the 25th of 
July they sailed from Port Louis, and after a time Mrs. 
Judson again appeared to be recovering. But the appear- 
ance proved deceptive. There came another dreadful re- 
lapse, which soon terminated in death. 

" In the cold weather off the Cape of Good Hope," Mr. 

Judson writes, " my hopes became again very sanguine. But 

she never really recovered from her last prostration, and, 

though sometimes better, continued, on the whole, to decline, 



until we neared St. Helena, when I gave up all hope of her 
recovery. She lingered a few days, while the vessel was de- 
tained in port, until the ist instant, when, at three o'clock in 
the morning, she obtained her release from further suffering, 
and entered, I trust, into the joy of her Lord. She was 
buried in the afternoon of the same day ; and in the evening 
we were again at sea." 

Fuller details of this mournful event are given in the ap- 
pended letter and obituary notice written by Mr, Judson in 
a letter to a friend at Port Louis : 

" On Passage from St. Helena, September 2, 1845. 

" My dear Friend : I shall have no opportunity of send- 
ing this till after my arrival in the United States ; so that 
you will probably have heard of Mrs. Judson's death before 
receiving this line, I was so overwhelmed with my distress 
while at St. Helena, that it never occurred to me to write a 
line to any of my friends. My dear wife continued to decline 
after leaving the Isle of France. Neither the best medical 
advice, nor the most careful nursing on my part, nor any 
change of climate, seemed to have much salutary effect. 
When we reached St. Helena I had given up all hope of her 
recovery. That took place on the 26th of August. The ves- 
sel remained a few days. She lingered along till the first, 
that is, yesterday, at three o'clock in the morning, when her 
spirit took its final flight. The body was carried on shore in 
the afternoon, aad interred' in the public burial-ground, by 
the side of Mrs. Chater, long a missionary at Ceylon, who 
died on her passage home. The funeral was attended by a 
crowd of friends, though we were entire strangers in the 
place. We were surprised to find several pious persons 
under the pastoral care of the Rev, Mr. Bertram, an excel- 
lent, zealous missionary. They took me and the children to 
their houses and their hearts, and their consoling conversa- 
tion and sympathizing prayers, in the hour of my distress, 
afforded wonderful relief. Would you believe that these 
pious friends and the captain of our ship defrayed all the 
expenses of the funeral ? They even had mourning suits 



made for the children, and sent off to the ship ! But I was 
obliged to leave them all the same evening ; and this morn- 
ing, the rock of the ocean, where reposes all that is mortal 
of my dear, dear wife, was out of sight. And O, how deso- 
late my cabin appears, and how dreary the way before me ! 
But I have the great consolation that she died in peace, long- 
ing to depart and be with Christ. She had some desire, 
being on her passage home, to see her parents, and relatives, 
and friends, after twenty years' absence ; but the love of 
Christ sustained her to the last. When near dying, I con- 
gratulated her on the prospect of soon beholding the Saviour 
in all His glory ; and she eagerly replied, 'What can I want 
beside ?'.... May we who remain have grace to follow 
those who, through faith, inherit the promises." 

Obituary of Mrs. Sarah B. Judson. 

" Sarah Boardman Judson was born at Alstead, in the 
State of New Hampshire, November 4, 1803. She was the 
eldest child of Ralph and Abiah Hall. While Sarah was but 
a child, her parents removed from Alstead to Danvers, and 
subsequently to Salem, in the State of Massachusetts. In 
the latter place she received her education, and continued to 
reside until she was married to the Rev. George Dana Board- 
man, July 4, 1825, with whom she embarked in the same 
month for the East Indies, to join the American missionaries 
in Burmah. After residing some time at Calcutta and at 
Maulmain, they settled at Tavoy, April i, 1828. During her 
residence in Calcutta and Tavoy she had three children, of 
whom one only, George Dana Boardman, Jr., born August 
18, 1828, survives her. She lost her husband February 11, 
1 83 1, and was married again to Adoniram Judson, of Maul- 
main, April 10, 1834. At Maulmain she became the mother 
of eight children, of whom five survive her. After the birth 
of her last child, in December, 1844, she was attacked with 
chronic diarrhoea, from which she had suffered much in the 
early part of her missionary life. When, in the progress of 
the disease, it became evident that nothing but a long voyage 
and an entire change of climate could save her life, she em- 


barked, with her husband and three elder children, for the 
United States, April 26, 1845. The voyage was at first at- 
tended with encouraging results, but finally proved unavail- 
ing, and she departed this life on shipboard, in the port of 
St. Helena, September i, 1845. 

" Like multitudes in the highly-favored land of her nativ- 
ity, she was blessed with early religious advantages, and in 
her youth became the subject of serious impressions. When 
about sixteen years of age, during a revival of religion in 
Salem, she entertained a hope, received baptism at the hands 
of her pastor, the Rev. Dr. Bolles, and became a member of 
his church. Her religious attainments, however, were not of 
a distinguished order, and though her amiable disposition 
and her deep interest in missions, especially after her ac- 
quaintance with Mr. Boardman, gave her an elevated tone of 
character, she subsequently felt that at that period she hardly 
deserved the name of a sincere Christian. And it was not 
until she was called to part with her eldest child, at Tavoy, 
in 1829, and to pass through scenes of great danger and suf- 
fering during the Tavoy rebellion, that she was enabled to 
live a life of faith on the Son of God. 

" ' Sweet affliction, sweet affliction, 
That brings near to Jesus' feet.' 

" In regard to her missionary qualifications and labors. I 
may state that she applied herself with great assiduity to the 
study of the Burmese language, in which, in conversation, 
prayer, and writing, she acquired an uncommon degree of 
correctness, fluency, and power. She was in the habit of 
conducting a prayer-meeting of the female members of the 
church every week, and also another meeting for the study 
of the Scriptures. Her acquaintance with, and attachment 
to, the Burmese Bible were rather extraordinary. She pro- 
fessed to take more pleasure and derive more profit from the 
perusal of that translation than from the English, and to 
enjoy preaching in the native chapel more than in any other. 
Her translation of the * Pilgrim's Progress,' part first, into 
Burmese, is one of the best pieces of composition which we 


have yet published. Her translation of Mr. Board nan's 
' Dying Father's Advice ' has become one of our standard 
tracts ; and her hymns in Burmese, about twenty in number, 
are probably the best in our ' Chapel Hymn Book ' — a work 
which she was appointed by the mission to edit. Besides 
these works, she published four volumes of Scripture ques- 
tions, which are in constant use in our Sabbath-schools. The 
last work of her life, and one which she accomplished in the 
midst of overwhelming family cares, and under the pressure 
of declining health, was a series of Sunday cards, each ac- 
companied with a short hymn, adapted to the leading subject 
of the card. 

" Besides her acquaintance with the Burmese language, 
she had, in past years, when there was no missionary in the 
Peguan department, acquired a competent knowledge of 
that language, and translated, or superintended the transla- 
tion of, the New Testament and the principal Burmese tracts 
into Peguan. But when a missionary was appointed to that 
department, she transferred her work to him, and gladly 
confined herself to the Burmese. 

" Something, also, might be said with regard to her labors 
in the Karen wilderness east of Tavoy, especially during the 
years of her widowhood, when she made toilsome journeys 
among the mountains, sometimes amid drenching rains, and 
always with many privations, and where, notwithstanding 
that she was wholly opposed to the principle of females act- 
ing the part of ministers, she was frequently obliged to con- 
duct worship in the Karen assemblies. 

" Her bereaved husband is the more desirous of bearing 
this testimon}'^ to her various attainments, her labors, and her 
worth, from the fact that her own unobtrusive and retiring 
disposition always led her to seek the shade, as well as from 
the fact that she was often brought into comparison with 
one whose life and character were uncommonly interesting 
and brilliant. The memoir of his first beloved wife has been 
long before the public. It is, therefore, most gratifying to 
his feelings to be able to say, in truth, that the subject of 
this notice was, in every point of natural and moral excel- 


lence, the worthy successor of Ann H. Judson. He con- 
stantly thanks God that he has been blessed with two of the 
best of wives ; he deeply feels that he has not improved these 
rich blessings as he ought, and it is most painful to reflect 
that, from the peculiar pressure of the missionary life, he 
has sometimes failed to treat those dear beings with that 
consideration, attention, and kindness which their situation 
in a foreign heathen land ever demanded. 

" But, to show the forgiving and grateful disposition of the 
subject of this brief sketch, and somewhat to elucidate her 
character, he would add that, a few days before her death, 
he called her children to her bedside, and said, in their hear- 
ing, 'I wish, my love, to ask pardon for every unkind word 
or deed of which I have ever been guilty. I feel that I have, 
in many instances, failed of treating you with that kindness 
and affection which you have ever deserved.' ' O,' said she, 
' you will kill me if you talk so. It is I that should ask par- 
don of you ; and I only want to get well that I may have an 
opportunity of making some return for all your kindness, and 
of showing you how much I love you.' 

" This recollection of her dying bed leads me to say a few 
words relative to the closing scenes of her life. After her 
prostration at the Isle of France, where we spent three weeks, 
there remained but little expectation of her recovery. Her 
hope had long been fixed on the Rock of Ages, and she had 
been in the habit of contemplating death as neither distant 
nor undesirable. As it drew near, she remained perfectly 
tranquil. No shade of doubt, or fear, or anxiety, ever passed 
over her mind. She had a prevailing preference to depart 
and be with Christ. ' I am longing to depart,' and ' What 
can I want beside ? ' quoting the language of a familiar 
hymn, were the expressions which revealed the spiritual 
peace and joy of her mind ; yet, at times, the thought of her 
native land, to which she was approaching, after an absence 
of twenty years, and a longing desire to see once more her 
son George, her parents, and the friends of her youth, drew 
down her ascending soul, and,constrained her to say, ' I am 
in a strait betwixt two — let the will of God be done.' 


" In regard to her children she ever manifested the most 
surprising composure and resignation, so much so that I was 
once induced to say, * You seem to have forgotten the little 
ones we have left behind.' ' Can a mother forget ? ' she re- 
plied, and was unable to proceed. During her last days she 
spent much time in praying for the early conversion of her 
children. May her living and her dying prayers draw down 
the blessing of God on their bereaved heads. 

" On our passage homeward, as the strength of Mrs. Jud- 
son gradually declined, I expected to be under the painful 
necessity of burying her in the sea. But it was so ordered 
by divine Providence, that, when the indications of approach- 
ing death had become strongly marked, the ship came to 
anchor in the port of St. Helena. For three days she con- 
tinued to sink rapidly, though her bodily sufferings were not 
very severe. Her mind became liable to wander ; but a 
single word was sufficient to recall and steady her recollec- 
tion. On the evening of the 31st of August she appeared to 
be drawing near to the end of her pilgrimage. The children 
took leave of her, and retired to rest. I sat alone by the side 
of her bed during the hours of the night, endeavoring to ad- 
minister relief to the distressed body and consolation to the 
departing soul. At two o'clock in the morning, wishing to 
obtain one more token of recognition, I roused her attention, 
and said, 'Do you still love the Saviour?' ' O, yes,' she re- 
plied, * I ever love the Lord Jesus Christ.' I said again, ' Do 
you still love me ? ' She replied in the affirmative, by a 
peculiar expression of her own. 'Then give me one more 
kiss '; and we exchanged that token of love for the last time. 
Another hour passed, life continued to recede, and she ceased 
to breathe. For a moment I traced her upward flight, and 
thought of the wonders which were opening to her view. I 
then closed her sightless eyes, dressed her, for the last time, 
in the drapery of death, and being quite exhausted with 
many sleepless nights, I threw myself down and slept. On 
awaking in the morning, I saw the children standing and 
weeping around the body of their dear mother, then, for the 
first time, inattentive to their cries. In the course of the day 


a coffin was procured from the shore, in which I placed all 
that remained of her whom I had so much loved ; and after 
a prayer had been offered by a dear brother minister from 
the town, the Rev. Mr. Bertram, we proceeded in boats to the 
shore. There we were met by the colonial chaplain, and ac- 
companied to the burial-ground by the adherents and friends 
of Mr. Bertram, and a large concourse of the inhabitants. 
They had prepared the grave in a beautiful, shady spot, con- 
tiguous to the grave of Mrs. Chater, a missionary from Cey- 
lon, who had died in similar circumstances on her. passage 
home. There I saw her safely deposited, and in the language 
of prayer, which we had often presented together at the 
throne of grace, I blessed God that her body had attained 
the repose of the grave and her spirit the repose of Paradise. 
After the funeral, the dear friends of Mr. Bertram took me 
to their houses and their hearts ; and their conversation and 
prayers afforded me unexpected relief and consolation. But 
I was obliged to hasten on board ship, and we immediately 
went to sea. On the following morning no vestige of the 
island was discernible in the distant horizon. For a few 
days, in the solitude of my cabin, with my poor children 
crying around me, I could not help abandoning myself to 
heart-breaking sorrow. But the promises of the Gospel 
came to m\ aid, and faith stretched her view to the bright 
world of eternal life, and anticipated a happy meeting with 
those beloved beings whose bodies are mouldering at Am- 
herst and St. Helena. 

" I exceedingly regret that there is no portrait of the sec- 
ond, as of the first Mrs. Judson. Her soft blue eye, her mild 
aspect, her lovely face, and elegant form have never been 
delineated on canvas. They must soon pass away from the 
memory even of her children, but they will remain forever 
enshrined in her husband's heart. 

"To my friends at St. Helena I am under great obligation. 
I desire to thank God for having raised up in that place a 
most precious religious interest. The friends of the Re- 
deemer rallied around an evangelical minister immediately 
on his arrival, and within a few months several souls were 

-.^idtTWlt ifyif'i^jL.y(^t/ytj£>H lO^t^^ filh '^Tic 



Fac-Simile of Mrs. Sarah B. Judson's Handwriting. 

As there is no portrait in existence of Mrs. Sarah B. Judson, the above 
fac-simile of her handwriting may interest the reader. These verses, from 
Moore, were written b}' her on the fly-leaf of a small volume of devotional 
poems, published at Philadelphia m 182S, presented by her to her husband. 
Many of the poems in this little book bear the marks of Mr. Judson's 
pencil as being of peculiar interest to him. Among those marked is the 
following : 


Art thou oppressed or reviled ? 
Then act but like a simple child, 
WTiG does not dare the point contest, 
Bat hastens to its mother's breast ; 
Bows in submission to her laws. 
And leaves her to support its cause. 
Thus to thy blessed Saviour flee ; 
Stand still ! thy God shall fight for thee. 

Fac-Simile of Mr. Judson's Handwriting. 

The above inscription was written by Mr. Judson on the 
fly-leaf of a volume of Burmese Hymns, compiled by Mrs. 
Sarah B. Judson, and presented by him to a lady in New 



added to their number. Those dear, sympathizing, Christian 
friends received the body of the deceased from my hands as 
a sacred deposit, united with our kind captain, John Codman, 
Jr., of Dorchester, in defraying all the expenses of the 
funeral, and promised to take care of the grave, and see to 
the erection of the gravestones which I am to forward, and 
on which I propose to place the following inscription : 

"'Sacred to the memory of Sarah B. Judson, member ol 
the American Baptist mission to Burmah, formerly wife of 
the Rev. George D. Boardman, of Tavoy, and lately wife of 
the Rev. Adoniram Judson, of Maulmain, who died in this 
port, September i, 1845, on her passage to the United States, 
in the forty-second year of her age, and in the twenty-first of 
her missionary life. 

" ' She sleeps sweetly here, on this rock of the ocean, 
Away from the home of her youth, 
And far from the land where, with heartfelt devotion, 
She scattered the bright beams of truth.' " 

"Mournfully, tenderly, 

Bear onward the dead. 
Where the Warrior has lain. 

Let the Christian be laid ; 
No place more befitting. 

Oh, Rock of the sea ! 
Never suoh treasure 

Was hidden in thee ! 

" Mournfully, tenderly. 

Solemn and slow. — 
Tears are bedewing 

The path as ye go ; 
Kindred and strangers 

Are mourners to-day ; 
Gently — so, gently — 

Oh, bear her away. 

" Mournfully, tenderly, 
Gaze on that brow ; 
Beautiful is it 

In quietude now ! 


One look — and then settle 

The loved to her rest, 
The ocean beneath her, 

The turf on her breast. 

*' So have ye buried her — 

Up ! — and depart, 
To life and to duty, 

With undismayed heart ! 
Fear not ; for the love 

Of the stranger will keep 
The casket that lies 

In the Rock of the deep, 

" Peace, peace to thy bosom. 

Thou servant of God ! 
The vale thou art treading 

Thou hast before trod : 
Precious dust thou hast laid 

By the Hopia-tree, 
And treasure as precious 

In the Rock of the sea."* 

The Sophia Walker, with Mr. Judson and his three chil- 
dren on board, arrived at Boston October 15, 1845. The 
missionary who had been so long absent from his native 
land felt considerable anxiety before going on shore as to 
where he should secure suitable lodgings in the city. He 
little dreamed that every home would be thrown open to 
him, and that soon his progress from city to city would 
almost assume the proportions of a triumphal march. He 
was ill prepared for such an enthusiastic greeting. He nat- 
urally shrank from observation. He was in exceedingly 
delicate health. His pulmonary difficulty prevented his 
speaking much above a husky whisper. He had so long 
used a foreign tongue that it was hard work for him to form 
sentences in English. He could address an audience only 
at second-hand, whispering his words to a speaker at his 
side, who would convey them to the ears of the hearers. 

By H. S. Washburn, Boston. 



Naturally humble and shy, he found it exceedingly distaste- 
ful to be publicly harangued and eulogized. On one occa- 
sion, an eye-witness* relates that while the returned mis- 
sionary was listening to words of eloquent praise addressed 
to him in the presence of a great concourse of people, " his 
head sank lower and lower until the chin seemed to touch 
his breast." He wrote to the Corresponding Secretary : 
" My chief object in writing is to beg that I may be excused 
from attending any more such meetings until I get a little 
better. I expect to be in Boston to-morrow, and shall want 
two or three days for some necessary business, and propose 
to go to Worcester on Friday or Saturday ; and if I could 
spend next Sabbath alone in some chamber, I should feel it 
a great privilege, both as a refreshment to the soul and a 
relief to the body." 

He had come home to find that his native country was 
almost a strange land. The railroad system had sprung 
into existence during his absence. He entered the cars at 
Worcester one day, and had just taken his seat, when a boy 
came along with the daily newspapers.f He said to Mr. 
Judson, "Do you want a paper, sir?" "Yes, thank you," 
the missionary replied, and taking the paper began to read. 
The newsboy stood waiting for his pay until a lady passen- 
ger, occupying the same seat with Mr. Judson, said to him, 
" The boy expects to be paid for his paper." " Why," re- 
plied the missionary, with the utmost surprise, " I have been 
distributing papers gratuitously in Burmah so long that I 
had no idea the boy was expecting any pay." 

He often disappointed public assemblies by declining to 
relate his own adventures, telling instead the old story of 
the cross. A lady thus describes an address which he made 
in the little country church in Eaton, New York : 

" After the usual sermon was over, he spoke for about fifteen minutes, 
with singular simplicity, and, as I thought, with touching pathos, of thr 

* Mr. Thomas Nickerson, of Newton Centre. 

t I am indebted for this reminiscence to Mr. H. S. Washburn, of Boston. 


'precious Saviour,' what He has done for us, and what we owe to Him. 
As he sat down, however, it was evident, even to the most unobservant 
eye, that most of the listeners were disappointed. After the exercises 
were over, several persons inquired of me, frankly, why Dr. Judson had 
not talked of something else ; why he had not told a stor}-, etc., etc. ; 
while others signified their disappointment by not alluding to his having 
spoken at all. On the way home, I mentioned the subject to him. 

" ' Why, what did they want.^* ' he inquired ; ' I presented the most in- 
teresting subject in